Medicines on prescription that can be bought over the counter – we want your views

Thursday 8th February, 2018

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

People are also able to easily access information on managing their health online and through community pharmacists

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 feedback a list of 33 illnesses that can be treated using over the counter medicines has been made, and NHS England are asking further questions about views on the prescription of medicines for these health issues.

We are supporting NHS England with this survey by seeking the views of local people; the results of the national consultation will 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?  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.

Your feedback will inform our response to the NHS England national consultation which ends on the 14th March, and will help us shape our local plans. 

You can complete on your own behalf, or to represent the views of a group of people – for example a local community

Complete our survey and help to inform local decision making. Closing date 30 March 2018.

The closing date is later than the national consultation to allow more people to have a say. All of the feedback will be considered by local decision makers when they receive the national guidance.

Hard copies are available - please email if you would like to request a copy.