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Items which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care

Last year 1.1 billion prescription items were dispensed in primary care at a cost of £9.2billion.

As the NHS has limited resources and this is a growing cost a number of areas of prescribing are being reviewed to ensure we are providing safe, high quality and cost effective treatments for patients.

NHS England is working with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to ensure its prescribing resources deliver the best possible value and health outcomes for local populations. A national consultation on commissioning guidance for items which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care has now opened, and will be running until 21st October 2017.

This consultation includes a total of 18 medicines/products which are either clinically ineffective, unsafe, not cost effective or where the NHS can offer a clinically-proven alternative for patients. They are also seeking people’s views on whether a wider list of 3,200 products that are available over-the-counter, without prescription, may be considered appropriate for future restriction.  

More information can be found here.


Why is this happening?
This consultation is about making the best use of NHS resources. We are asking everyone who works in or uses the NHS to contribute to and support the consultation so the NHS can improve people’s health, reduce waste and get better value from the £141 million currently spent on these 18 products and the significant amount of money spent on products for minor self-limiting illnesses.


Where can I find out more?

Consultation document – You can access the full consultation document and take part here

Survey - You can access the consultation survey here

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - NHS England have produced a series of FAQs which provide further information.