Buying your own medicines
Find out why buying your own basic medicines for short-term minor ailments from a pharmacy or a shop is better for you and your NHS.
You don't need to go to your GP practice for medicines for short-term minor ailments. It is cheaper to buy medicines yourself, they can cost from as little as 20p. Better still, you don't need to make an appointment or travel to your GP practice - you can pick them up when it's convienent for you.
If you are unsure about which medicines to buy, you can visit your pharmacist for free advice. Pharmacists are experts on medicines and minor ailments. They can give you advice on how to manage your condition and which medicines would be the most effective.
Instead, you can buy these medicines from a pharmacy or supermarket. The team at the pharmacy will be able to give you clinical advice to help you manage common minor health concerns. This can include coughs, colds, acne, minor pain, discomfort and fever. You can take a look at a full list of minor health concerns for which you should buy your own medicines over the counter here.
NHS Clinical Commissioners have produced a quick reference guide for healthcare professionals, you can view this guide on their website. This guide contains information about medicines which should not routinely be prescribed over the counter.
PresQIPP have also produced a number of videos which GP practices can use in a variety of settings such as waiting rooms. These videos relate to self care and follow NHS England guidance around prescribing of over the counter medicines. Please note that you need a PresQIPP account to view these videos.
You can also share information on social media using #ItsOurNHS
In December 2017, the NHS asked prescribers to stop or greatly reduce the prescribing of some medicines. This was because they are either, not as safe as other medicines, not as effective as other medicines or, more expensive than other medicines that have the same effect. A list of these medicines and treatments are below. Click on each for a patient information leaflet which explains more.
Co-proxamol | Dosulepin | Doxazosin | Glucosomine | Herbal treatment | Homeopathy | Immediate release fentanyl | Lidocaine plaster | Liothyronine | Lutein and antioxidant supplements | Omega 3 fatty acids | Once daily tadalafil | Perindopril arginine | Rubefacients | Targinact | Tramacet | Travel vaccines |Trimipramine
You can read more about the changes in this patient information leaflet.