| What are short-term conditions and minor ailments?
| Short-term conditions tend to improve on their own without a long-term effect on a person’s health. Minor ailments are
| uncomplicated conditions which can be diagnosed and managed without seeing the doctor.
| Some examples of these include: coughs, colds and sore throats; colic; threadworms; verrucas; warts; acne and indigestion.
| What are over-the-counter medicines?
| Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can be bought directly without a prescription from a high street pharmacy, supermarket or
| other shops and online. Some examples include: paracetamol and ibuprofen; antihistamines; eye drops to treat allergies and
| indigestion treatments.
| Why will over-the-counter medicines no longer be routinely prescribed?
| We recently reviewed our policy to prescribe OTC medicines following a consultation with the public during July 2017, on
| stopping the routine prescribing of these medicines. The majority of people who responded to ourconsultation supported this
| proposal. The NHS spends valuable financial resources and doctors’ time on prescribing medicines and other products
|that you can buy without a prescription. The money we can save could help to fund more procedures e.g.hip and knee
|replacements, more drug treatments for breast cancer and more community nurses.
| As our local population continues to grow, this prescribing places more pressure on scarce NHS resources. Medicines can be
| bought from shops or pharmacies after seeking appropriate advice from a healthcare professional. Significant savings can be
| made by not taking up a GP appointment for the supply of an OTC medicine and should also increase the availability of
| appointments for patients with more serious conditions. In order to fund services of the greatest need in Lancashire,
| we need to make sure that public money is being used in the most cost effective way. Reducing the prescribing of OTC
| medicines is also now part of the NHS England agenda. Many CCGs around the country are restricting or stopping the
| prescribing of OTC medicines on the NHS. It is not just the cost of the medicines which could be a saving but also NHS costs
|or the entire process (including GP time for an appointment).