Staff Login
Enable Recite

Prescribing over the counter medicines has changed

18 October, 2019

Local NHS organisations are working in partnership to encourage people to buy medicines for minor health concerns from a pharmacy or supermarket rather than getting a prescription from their General Practitioner.

Each year the local NHS spends millions of pounds on free prescriptions for medicines for minor health concerns such as aches and pains and coughs and colds. This money could be better spent on essential healthcare services that treat more serious conditions.

A minor health concern is a condition people can treat themselves with items they can buy quickly and easily from their local pharmacy or supermarket, such as aches and pains, hay fever, indigestion or coughs and colds.

General Practitioners will generally not give patients a prescription for over the counter medicines for a range of minor health conditions that people can buy without difficulty from a local pharmacy or supermarket.

Sometimes people may need advice for a minor health concern; local pharmacists are trained healthcare professionals who can give clinical guidance and support where need.

Visit for more information and a list of the 33 items no longer routinely available on prescription.