Over The Counter Medicines

Non-prescribing of OTC (Over The Counter Medicines)

NHS England have advised the Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group that they must encourage all member practices to reduce the money spent on prescribing OTC (Over The Counter) Medicines.

Many OTC medicines are surprisingly cheap – for example a month of loratadine (hay fever tablets) can cost as little as £1.99. We feel that it is right to support this cost saving initiative in order that money saved can be used to fund more vital patient care.

In the first instance, we will no longer be prescribing the following medicines to patients aged 18 years and over:  cetirizine & loratadine tablets,  sodium cromoglicate eye drops, beclometasone  (beconase) or fluticasone (flixonase) nasal sprays. You will need to buy these from a community chemist / pharmacy or use a reputable on-line pharmacy in future.

Part of this initiative is cost saving and part of it is about empowering patients to manage their own self-limiting conditions / minor ailments, with the help of a community pharmacist if required. This can also help free up valuable GP appointments at the surgery.

The following document is a list of a number of self-limiting conditions / minor ailments which can be treated with OTC medicines:

OTC Conditions

Mid Essex CCG have published a list of Frequently Asked Questions about this policy, see below:

OTC Patient Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any concerns or queries about this policy, please contact the CCG PALS (Patient and Liaison Service). Their contact details can be found in the above document.