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40 per cent of GP appointments for minor health conditions

Over half of patients recommended an OTC treatment

November 14th 2023

Tagged: political news Pharmacy owners' news England

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Two in five adults have asked for a GP appointment for a minor health issue, including colds, a blocked nose, insect bites and stings or headaches, a report by over the counter medicine suppliers finds.

In Take care – of yourself and the NHS – a new report on self-care from the Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB)- over half (53 per cent) of respondents were told by the GP to use over-the-counter medicines.

The DDA supports a change in legislation to enable sales of over-the-counter medicines through dispensing GPs. Reducing prescribing by 5 per cent would save the NHS an additional £772 million in avoided GP appointments. This would also make it easier for patients who needed to see a GP to get an appointment, says the PAGB.

On average, those who took part in surveys to inform the report had experienced at least five self-treatable conditions in the previous 12 months.

Two in five (41 per cent) of those on the lowest incomes told PAGB that the cost-of-living crisis had impacted their ability to purchase OTC medicines.