NHS England has launched the public consultation on proposals to end routine prescribing of 33 over the counter item considered to be for conditions that are either self-limiting or suitable for self-care. Vitamins/minerals and probiotics are also included as items of low clinical effectiveness.
The consultation is now open and runs until Wednesday 14 March. This was first announced in early December.
NHS England has proposed five exceptions to the proposed restrictions:
- Circumstances where the product licence doesn’t allow the product to be sold over the counter to certain groups of patients.
- Patients with a minor condition suitable for self-care that has not responded sufficiently to treatment with an over the counter product.
- Patients where the clinician considers that the presenting symptom is due to a condition that would not be considered a minor ailment
- Circumstances where the prescriber believes that in their clinical judgement exceptional circumstances exist that warrant deviation from the recommendation to self-care.
- Patients where the clinician considers that their ability to self-manage is compromised as a consequence of social, medical or mental health vulnerability to the extent that their health and/or wellbeing could be adversely affected if left to self-care.
Guidance for CCGs will not remove prescriber’s clinical discretion, according to NHS England.