Over the Counter Medicines

Did you know that your local NHS spends £15m a year on prescribing medicines that are available to buy at the pharmacy?

Following national guidance from NHS England, we’re asking GPs not to prescribe these medicines*, including for conditions such as coughs, colds, headaches, mouth ulcers, travel sickness and mild toothache.

Your GP will not generally give you a prescription for over the counter medicines for a range of minor health concerns. Instead, over the counter medicines are available to buy at your local pharmacy.

The team of health professionals at the pharmacy can offer help and clinical advice to manage minor health concerns and if your symptoms suggest it’s more serious, they’ll direct you to the help you need.

For further details, including a list of conditions the guidance applies to, please take a look at our leaflet here. You can also contact us at nhsnwl.communications.nwl@nhs.net.

*Exceptions apply

In addition to national exceptions listed on the leaflet, the following local exceptions will continue to apply: 

  • medicines that need to be given at school 
  • care home residents 
  • individuals with funded care packages
  • where a carer is required to administer a medicine or product 
  • anyone officially declared homeless 
  • people with a diagnosis of dementia or learning disability

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