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NHS England issues 'letter of comfort' on OTC prescribing for GPs


One area of conflict here is the aim to get people to purchase their medications for hay fever and allergic rhinitis OTC. The evidence is very clear that the majority of those who see their GP do so because of failure of OTC medication be effective. There are numerous reasons for this, including the alternative diagnosis of non allergic rhinitis. The Practice which I attend has a notice virtually telling these people to go away. They are thus left to the tender ministrations of pharmacists, who we must always remember are not clinicians.A recent study from Australia (where rhinitis is considered a pharmacy only disease) demonstrates poor patient outcomes. The patient needs to be seen by a clinician to confirm diagnosis and to get a management plan. Once this has been done, and the medications needed are OTC then direct the patient to the pharmacist, but not the other way round. As a profession, we must not allow the CCGs or other bodies to dictate poor clinical practice which invariably leads to worse outcomes for our patients, delay in them receiving correct advice and prolonged periods of impaired quality of life.

Posted date

12 Feb 2019

Posted time