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Self Care Policy

During 2016/2017 our local CCG have asked GP surgeries to reduce the number of OVER THE COUNTER (OTC) items which are prescribed to our patients.

A huge number of medicines are available from supermarkets, discount stores and pharmacies at reasonable cost.  Many of these treatments are more expensive when prescribed on the NHS compared to when they are purchased.  For example Paracetamol is approximately FOUR times as expensive on an NHS script. (£4million is spent in our local CCG last year on OTC products).

The GMC Good Practice in Prescribing and managing Medicines and Devices (March 2013) describes prescribing as:

"Prescribing is used to describe many related activities, including supply of prescription only medcines, prescribing medicines, devices and dressing on the NHS and advising patients on the purchase of over the counter medcines and other remedies.  It may also be used to describe written information provided for patients (information prescriptions) or advice given".

It is recommended that patients should keep a small supply of simple treatments in their own medicine cabinet to manage minor ailments at home.  By keeping a selection of essential medications at home people can treat common conditions and minor ailments in a timely manner - saving time and money and the patient starts to feel better quicker.  It could also avoid unnecessary trips to see your doctor.

If you request a medication which the GP thinks you should buy Over The Counter the GP will ask the Prescription Clerk to contact you and give you this information. 




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