Paracetamol, indigestion treatment, heartburn treatment, anti-diahorrea medications
These are just some of the medications that patients in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough get free on prescription, when they could be bought over the counter from a pharmacy for a small amount.
There are many reasons why some patients get free prescriptions, and for many this helps by providing them with a medication that CANNOT be bought from a pharmacy.
However, for some people who can have free prescriptions their medications CAN be bought from a pharmacy, and we are encouraging those who can afford to, to do so. This might include
- parents of children under 16,
- pregnant women,
- people over 60
- people with certain medical conditions.
Each time a patient visits their GP and gets a medication, that could be bought over the counter, it costs the NHS approximately £46 for the medication and the GP's time. We estimate the cost of time and money spent on GP appointments for patients who could have self-cared at £17.6million.
This is how much the local NHS spend on medicines and how much they cost patients to buy:
- Pain relief (paracetamol) – cost to NHS £996,000, cost for patient to buy 49p (16 tablets).
- Upset stomach treatment – cost to NHS £1.1million, cost for patient to buy £2.50 (six capsules).
- Nasal sprays - cost to NHS £204,000, cost for patient to buy £1.85 (one nasal spray).
- Heartburn and indigestion treatment – cost to NHS £331,000, cost for patient to buy £1.80 (24 tablets).