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Home » News and events » News archive » News archive 2018 » Summer spend on non-prescriptions medications costs NHS millions

Summer-related non-prescriptions medications costs NHS over £500,000 last year

The local NHS is encouraging residents in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to save themselves a trip to their GP practice, and instead visit a pharmacy for non-prescription summer medication, as it reveals it spent over £500,000 prescribing summer-related medications, such as antihistamines and nasal sprays, last year.
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With summer here Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG are urging patients and carers, who don’t pay for their prescriptions, to consider whether they could buy their over the counter summer medications themselves, instead of getting it on prescription.

Those who get free prescriptions include anyone under 16; over 60; pregnant or had a baby in the last year; or have a valid medical exemption certificate.

This is how much the CCG spent on summer-related medications last year: 

  • antihistamines - £158,537
  • travel sickness medication - £121,632
  • sunscreen - £11,511
  • skin creams for mild dry skin/sunburn - £164,120
  • nasal sprays - £204,031

These can all be can all be bought at low cost from a pharmacy – no GP prescription is required.

Dr Mark Brookes, local GP in Cambridge said, “It’s time to get summer savvy and stock up on summer healthcare essentials at your local pharmacy. Lots are available over the counter at low cost with antihistamines costing as little as 79p and nasal sprays as little as £1.85.

“When patients visit their GP to get these medication, it costs the NHS. It uses a GP appointment and the NHS have to pay for the medication too. If you get free prescriptions, and you can afford to, please do consider whether you could help us locally and buy your own medication.”

For more information about common illnesses and injuries or to find your nearest pharmacy and opening times visit www.nhs.uk

Advice on travel health including sun safety, vaccinations, DVT and how to apply for your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is available here https://www.cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs.uk/news-and-events/campaigns/summer-health/