HEALTH AND CARE: Views sought on over-the-counter medicines

A list of 33 illnesses which can be treated using over-the-counter medicines has been compiled
A list of 33 illnesses which can be treated using over-the-counter medicines has been compiled

This week we want to hear from people about potential changes to the types of medicines that can be purchased over the counter.

Doctors are calling for people to have their say on whether over-the-counter medicines should be available on prescription for 33 specific conditions or illnesses.

The survey and more information is available on the CCG’s website – www.coastalwestsussexccg.nhs.uk – in the news section.

In the year up to June 2017, the NHS across the country spent approximately £569million on prescriptions for medicines which can be purchased over the counter from a pharmacy and other outlets, such as supermarkets.

Last year, NHS England asked people what they think about spending less on medicines for some illnesses by supporting people to treat themselves.

In response to the feedback that was received a list of 33 illnesses which can be treated using over-the-counter medicines has been compiled, and NHS England are asking further questions about views on the prescription of medicines for these health issues.

Following the national consultation, it is expected guidance will be issued to clinical commissioning groups for local decisions to be made.

The NHS in West Sussex is supporting NHS England with this survey and asking for people to share their views to inform the work we do locally and determine whether we consider making any changes to existing local policies.

Do you think it’s a good idea to stop prescribing medicines for these illnesses, and for people to buy their own medicines from a pharmacy or a supermarket?

Importantly, some people will still be prescribed medicine – for example those with a long-term illness like arthritis, or a more serious illness like cancer, or where healthcare staff believe a patient cannot obtain the medicines themselves.

The survey asks for your views on illnesses that don’t last long or illnesses that go away on their own, or that people can treat themselves.

It will also ask about other medicines you can get over the counter, such as probiotics, vitamins and minerals.

Visit the news section on the CCG’s website – www.coastalwestsussexccg.nhs.uk – to complete the survey.

The closing date is March 30.

You can also read the detailed consultation document, or an easy-read version on the website.

Hard copies are also available – please email: contactus.coastal@nhs.net if you would like to request a copy.

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