Consultation on Ending Prescription of Common Medicines and Special Foods

Western Berkshire CCGs are consulting on their implementation of the nationally announced policy of ending the prescription of certain common medicines and special foods - such as paracetamol and gluten-free foods.You can answer a consultation on this by clicking here . The consultation also asks about changes and restrictions on repeat prescriptions and on the prescribing of vitamins, suplements, sunscreen and camouflage preparations. The consultation ends on 28th April 2017.

It is known that the process of prescription is relatively costly - designed to safely distribute potentially harnful and costly medicines. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen are relatively cheap, and it is claimed that gluten-free foods have become more widely available and cheaper.

There is still concern for those who find themselves in straitened circumstances, perhaps on benefits. The proposal is that the GP should advise the patient to make an Independent Funding Request (IFR) if they find it difficult to purchase these medicines or foods. The IFR committee, which approves these exceptional prescriptions, is thought to meet monthly, so there is potentially a considerable delay. Would not if be more efficient and more likely to provide continuuty of care if GPs were themselves allowed to make this decision and prescribe these medicines and foods for those in difficulty?