Responding to reports of individual CCGs stopping the routine prescribing of certain treatments, such as over-the-counter medicines and gluten-free products, from prescriptions, National Association of Primary Care president Dr Kingsland told C+D that “there is a question about some of the legalities”.
He claimed there is case law concerning patients challenging the availability of certain treatments in different areas across the country, so “we need to be careful...to make sure not to ration care”.
Watch C+D's interview with Dr Kingsland, recorded at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee’s conference in Manchester on November 1, below.
Recent examples of prescription cuts
In August, Professor Azeem Majeed of Imperial College London reported Dudley CCG to the advertising regulator for a poster stating "prescriptions for self-care medicines are no longer available from your GP”. Professor Majeed told C+D “CCGs have no power over the prescribing of drugs by GPs – that power lies with the Department of Health”.
C+D reported last month that East and North Hertfordshire and Herts Valley CCGs are the latest to limit routine prescribing for minor ailments and scrap gluten-free products from prescriptions.
NHS England’s prescription agenda
In June, C+D hosted a roundtable debate with representatives from pharmacy, commissioning and Coeliac UK to discuss NHS England’s plans to scrap a range of products and services from prescriptions.
You can listen to the full debate in the podcast below.