NHS targets suncream prescriptions for cuts

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Suncream, cold remedies and gluten-free food might no longer be accessible on a NHS in England underneath a crackdown on “low value” medicines.

NHS England announced a examination after internal health bosses identified £400m of spending they trust has small or no clinical value.

It also includes some forms of pain use and transport vaccines.

The proposals could see an undisguised anathema or tighter restrictions on some products being prescribed by GPs.

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An initial list of 10 products has been drawn adult by NHS Clinical Commissioners, that represents internal health managers who are in assign of budgets.

A series of them are accessible over-the-counter during a revoke cost than a cost to a NHS of prescribing them or embody drugs for that there are some-more effective or cheaper alternatives.

Evidence submitted to NHS England – and seen by a BBC – argues that a prescribing of gluten-free products dates behind to a 1960s when there was not a choice there is now in supermarkets and shops.

Cutting behind on prescriptions for a 10 products could save a NHS over £100m a year.

While patients can be charged for prescriptions, a far-reaching operation of exemptions meant usually one in 10 equipment handed out are paid for by individuals.

‘Low value’ medicines on a list and their annual cost to a NHS:

  • £30.93m on Liothyronine to provide underactive thyroid
  • £21.88m on gluten-free foods
  • £17.58m on Lidocaine plasters for treating nerve-related pain
  • £10.51m on Tadalafil, an choice to Viagra
  • £10.13m on Fentanyl, a drug to provide pain in terminally ill patients
  • £8.32m on a painkiller Co-proxamol
  • £9.47m on transport vaccines
  • £7.12m on Doxazosin MR, a drug for high blood pressure
  • £6.43m on rubs and ointments
  • £5.65m on omega 3 and fish oils

Source: NHS Clinical Commissioners

NHS Clinical Commissioners has also highlighted other products that it wants reviewed once a initial collection of 10 have.

This includes suncream, cough and cold remedies and indigestion and heartburn medicines, that could pierce a saving to £400m a year.

That is out of a sum check of over £16bn on medicines once those dispensed by both hospitals and GPs are taken into account.

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NHS Clinical Commissioners arch executive Julie Wood pronounced “difficult choices” had to be done given a rare financial and direct hurdles confronting a NHS.

She pronounced it was critical to revoke spending on medication equipment that have “little or no clinical value”.

But Coeliac UK arch executive Sarah Sleet pronounced she a pierce was “disappointing”, adding not all shops and stores stocked gluten-free products.

“Research shows that bill and preference stores, that are relied on by a many exposed such as a elderly, those with disabilities and on low incomes, have probably no provision.”

She pronounced not adhering to a diet could lead to critical complications, including osteoporosis.

Gill Nuttall, from skin cancer charity, Melanoma UK, also took emanate with a move.

“I pronounce to cancer patients each day who are receiving life prolonging treatments in melanoma, some of whom humour some terrible side effects, including impassioned reactions to a sun.

“Sun shade has a really high clinical value to those patients.”

She pronounced NHS England should consider “very carefully” before restricting suncream prescriptions.

NHS England reliable a examination would start in April, though did not put any timescale on how fast a preference would be made.

The news comes forward of a vital proclamation by NHS England after this week on a destiny of a health service.

On Friday Chief executive Simon Stevens will give an refurbish of his five-year plan that was launched in autumn 2014 and is now half-way through.