Prescription Incentive Scheme
‘In the year prior to June 2017, the NHS spent approximately £569m on items available OTC.’
The NHS is asking we reduce our prescribing of these items. If there is a reduction in spending on treating conditions that are self-limiting or which lend themselves to self-care, or on items where there is little evidence of clinical effectiveness, resources can be used for other higher priority areas that have a greater impact for patients, support improvements in services and/or deliver the transformation that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the NHS.
NHS England (NHS E) has produced guidance on prescribing in primary care of items which are available OTC for the treatment of conditions which are self-limiting or which lend themselves to self-care.
The guidance ‘Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care is found below:
Medicines and products that can be bought over the counter without a prescription
The NHS in Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, and Westminster spent over £13 million in 2016 on products that can be bought without a prescription at community pharmacies.
The NHS is under pressure. Our budgets are not large enough to pay for all the treatments we would like to purchase.
We would like to spend less on medicines you can buy without a prescription so as to free up funds for other valuable NHS services. So practices across North West London will no longer routinely prescribe medicines which are available to buy over the counter in pharmacies (and, in the case of some medicines, in supermarkets and other shops too).
Requesting your repeat prescriptions
A lot of medicines are wasted – dispensed but not used. We believe that some of this waste can be reduced if people request their repeat prescriptions directly from their general practice, rather than allowing a community pharmacy to request prescriptions on their behalf. Nobody knows which medicines you are really running out of better than you (or your carer if you have one).