In 2022/23 NHS Kent and Medway spent over £18million on medications for self-limiting, short-term illnesses and minor conditions that could potentially be bought over the counter.

NHS Kent and Medway is committed to delivering the best value to patients by ensuring that we use our resources well. Therefore, to help us to support implementation and ensure cost effective, evidence-based use of medicines, NHS Kent & Medway Integrated Medicines Optimisation Committee has issued the following statement.

Prescribing of items available Over the Counter (OTC) for self-care is NOT supported.

This is in line with the NHS England guidelines for conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care.

Please refer to the briefing and position statements below.

Recommendation Approval date Review date
Briefing statement on Over the Counter (OTC) medicines July 2023 July 2025
Position statement on the prescribing of medicines available to purchase over the counter for self-limiting and minor health conditions July 2023 July 2025
Referral to local pharmacy for hay fever treatment - No prescription required July 2023 July 2025