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Position Statement on the Prescribing of Medications Available to Purchase Over the Counter in Ipswich and East Suffolk

Patient queries or complaints: Any patient queries or complaints should be directed to PALS 0800 389 6819 or

Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG does not support the prescribing of medication that is available to buy from local pharmacies or supermarkets for children or adults. The medications listed below are examples of medicines that should be purchased by the patient/parent/guardian.

This list is not exhaustive.
 Moisturising creams, gels, ointments and balms for dry skin with no diagnosis
 Hay fever remedies e.g. antihistamines, nasal sprays (patients >18yrs)
 Bath oils and shower gel (unless recommended by a specialist for infected atopic eczema)
 Vitamins and supplements e.g. low dose vitamin D (<2,000units), I-Caps, multivitamins
 Potassium hydroxide for Molluscum contagiosum e.g. Molludab
 Lubricating eye drops and chloramphenicol eye drops and eye ointment (patients >2yrs)
 Anti-diarrhoeal medication for short term diarrhoea (<72hrs)
 Paracetamol and ibuprofen for short term use
 Antifungal preparations e.g. Canesten
 Rehydration sachets
 Anti-inflammatory gels e.g. ibuprofen gel
 Laxatives for short term use (<72 hours)
 Head lice treatments
 Threadworm tablets
 Lactose free infant formula
 Antiperspirants
 Cough and cold remedies
 Medicated shampoos e.g. Alphosyl, Capasal
 Mouthwash e.g. Corsodyl
 Indigestion remedies e.g. Gaviscon, Peptac
 Haemorrhoidal preparations e.g. Anusol
 Nasal douches e.g Sterimar

The reasons for this are as follows:

 Patients have a responsibility to look after themselves and their children where possible and manage self-limiting minor ailments with support from their local pharmacy if needed.
 Patients should keep a small supply of simple treatments in their own medicine cabinet so they are able to manage minor ailments at home.
 All these medicines are widely available from supermarkets and pharmacies at reasonable cost.
 Many of these treatments are more expensive when prescribed on the NHS compared to when they are purchased in pharmacies or supermarkets e.g. paracetamol is approximately 4x as expensive on prescription.
 The NHS belongs to everybody and the CCG must ensure that its resources are used in the best possible way for all patients.

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