Clinical commissioning group guidance was first published in November 2017 listing 18 items that should no longer be prescribed in primary care as they were considered to be of low clinical value or were not cost effective. NHS England also issued guidance in March 2018 restricting routine prescribing of over-the-counter medicines for the treatment of 35 minor self-limiting conditions.
They are now running a public consultation from 28 November 2018 until 28 February 201 over whether eight further items including silk clothes, amiodarone for abnormal heart rhythms, bath and shower emollient preparations, for atrial fibrillation and minocycline for acne, should be included in the list as they are deemed to have relatively low clinical effectiveness. It will also update clinical commissioning group guidance on rubefacients, included in the 2017 list of items, to consider exclusion of capsaicin cream. Blood glucose testing strips, needles for prefilled and reusable insulin pens and aliskiren for blood pressure could also be included on the list after they were also deemed not cost effective. These measures could save the NHS £68.8m each year.
“Public consultation launched to help save NHS England £70m.“
Stephen Powis, NHS England’s national medical director, said the committee responsible for drawing up the guidance, which includes representatives from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, NHS Clinical Commissioners and NHS England, had committed to reviewing the November 2017 guidance “at least annually” to identify items that could be retained, removed or added to the list, and said: “It should be noted that this is not a complete ban, it’s about selecting more clinically and cost effective alternative medicines and items where appropriate.”