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No More Paracetamol Prescriptions - Medicines Dropped from NHS

  • Prescriptions for some over the counter medicines will be cut
  • Paracetamol, cold medicine, and sun cream included
  • Will save the NHS millions a year
You won’t be able to get medicine, like paracetamol, as a prescription, any more. Image: Getty
You won’t be able to get medicine, like paracetamol, as a prescription, any more. Image: Getty

Prescriptions for some over the counter remedies have been cut after NHS officials voted in favour of money saving-plans.

Medicines including cough mixture, eye drops, and paracetamol, will no longer be routinely prescribed.

The proposals to rein in prescriptions for medicines for minor conditions, which the NHS said will save millions every year, received broad support in a public consultation, members heard.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said, “Across the NHS, our aim is to ‘think like a patient, act like a taxpayer’

“The NHS is probably the most efficient health service in the world but we’re determined to keep pushing further.

“Every pound we save from cutting waste is another pound we can then invest in better A&S care, new cancer treatments, and much better mental health services.”

More than 60% of respondents to the consultation agreed that over-the counter products should not be prescribed for a range of minor conditions.

The changes will not affect prescriptions for long-term or complex conditions, or where minor illnesses are a symptom of something more serious.

Vulnerable patients will also continue to receive prescriptions for over-the-counter items, provided they are proven to be effective.

Treatments for constipation, cold sores, conjunctivitis, and minor pain conditions, are among those which will not be routinely prescribed.

The prescription changes could free up almost £100 million for the health service.

How Will Prescription Changes Affect You?

The cut to minor prescriptions could actually save you money.

Instead of buying a prescription, you can buy the product for RRP, which is usually a lot less, especially as prescription prices have increased.

An example of this is a pack of antihistamine hay fever tablets, which can be bought over the counter for £2.99 for a pack of seven, or £11.49 for a pack of 60.

However, be careful not to buy branded versions of the products, which can cost up to eight times more than a pharmacy own brand.

If you have an NHS season ticket, which you use to pay for prescriptions with, you will no longer be able to use this for over the counter medicines.

Do you think this is a good idea? Let us know in the comments!

Comments+20 points

yes paracetamol can be bought for 19p a pack in stores like Lidl or a little bit dearer in a chemist you cant even buy a daily paper for that so surely that wont break the bank even if you buy them everyday.


The problem I would have is that paracetamol can only be bought two packs at a time. If you take them every day, several times a day you need a lot of them. If you can't get out of the house it would be hard to buy enough for your needs. I hope those who have this need will still be able to get them on prescription.



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