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 and 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 £1.5 million, cost for patient to buy 25p (16 tablets).
- Upset stomach treatment – cost to NHS £1.2million, cost for patient to buy £1 (six capsules).
- Heartburn and indigestion treatment – cost to NHS £320,000, cost for patient to buy £2 (200ml).