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GPs face restrictions on glucose testing strip and bath emollient prescribing

GPs may be told no longer prescribe blood glucose testing strips and bath and shower emollient preparations.

The two items feature in NHS England's latest consulation on prescribing of 'low value' items, after guidance published earlier this year already advised against prescribing a range of products.

It will also consult on ending prescribing of needles for pre-filled and reusable insulin pens, as well as capsaicin cream.

The new list also contains a number of items which are rarely prescribed by GPs such as silk garments, and usually specialist-prescribed items amiodarone and aliskeren.

NHS England said the motley list was collated on the basis of the items being:

  • 'of relatively low clinical effectiveness';
  • 'clinically effective but where more cost-effective items are available';
  • 'clinically effective but, due to the nature of the item... deemed a low priority for NHS funding'.

The three-month consultation will open today and run until 28 February, after which NHS Enlgand and NHS Clinical Commissioners will publish new guidance.

NHS England's earlier crackdown on over-the-counter and 'low value' items included prescriptions for over-the-counter medicines for conditions such as constipation, diarrhoea and athlete’s foot.

NHS England said it would also publish updated guidance on prescribing of gluten-free foods today, following the Department of Health and Social Care's decision - announced last month - to limit prescriptions to just bread and flour mixes.

Full list of items under consultation

New items

  • Silk garments
  • Aliskiren – used to treat blood pressure
  • Amiodarone – used to treat abnormal heart rhythms
  • Bath and shower emollient preparations
  • Dronedarone – used to treat atrial fibrillation
  • Minocycline – used to treat acne
  • Blood glucose testing strips
  • Needles for pre-filled and reusable insulin pens – proposed recommendations are focused on substitution for more cost-effective products rather than a reduction in prescribing of these items.

Reviewed item

  • Rubefacients (excluding topical NSAIDs) it is proposed that guidance on rubefacients (excluding topical NSAIDS), initially published in November 2017, be updated to consider exclusion of capsaicin cream, in line with NICE guidance.

Source: NHS England

 

Readers' comments (7)

  • David Banner

    If the DOH want to ban these items from NHS prescriptions, then fine. Complaining patients can be pointed to their local MP.

    BUT, if the DOH cop out yet again by “strongly advising” GPs to avoid issuing these items (whilst leaving them technically available on prescription), then drawing up League Tables of “bad practices” so they can name & shame then bully & persecute us whilst taking zero responsibility themselves , then they can go to Hell.

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  • YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS COUNTRY HAS A LONG TRADITION DATING BACK CENTURIES OF "CRAPPING" ON THOSE WHO SERVE IT:

    GET GPs TO DO THE DIRTY WORK THEN DEMONISE THEM.
    LOOK AT THE WAY OTHER GROUPS IN SOCIETY WHO HAVE HELPED THE UK HAVE BEEN SERIALLY "SH** ON".

    IT IS A LONG TRADITION OF TWO-FACED CUNNING.

    WELL THE DOH AND NHS CAN P*** *** WE HAVE ALL HAD ENOUGH OF BEING THEIR "CANNON FODDER"-GET STUFFED AND FIND SOME OTHER GULLIBLE TWIT TO SUCK UP YOUR LIES AND PROMISES.

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  • Well said Last man Standing. Well said. One can see the experiences a GP faces coming through.

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  • Unless blackisted and unavailable for prescribing, it will be GPs and CCGs doing the government's dirty work

    I'm actually getting really frustrated with this attitude.

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  • Good points

    I have stopped prescribing most items that can be bought OTC.

    "Sorry, I am not allowed to prescribe these items. It is beacuse of the Government and Brexit"

    Any complaints are directed to the local MP

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  • Please issue a written directive with a signature which can be handed to patient for effective complaint management hahahha

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  • this has gone on locally for years. As I always point out, the policy basically is that " you don"t get it unless you shout out loud." An NHS-wide list of drugs that can and cannot be prescribed needs to be drawn up and agreed by politicians or maybe NICE.

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