Cheap medicines?


Woke up this morning to the news report regarding the review in what the NHS seems as “cheap medicines”. I work in a pharmacy therefore I deal with these medicines and their patients daily. I like to categorise them.

There’s the elderly, who still get hundreds of paracetamol and pain rubs on prescription, the exempt either through benefits, prepayment or medical who like to see how much they can get on prescription and the people who pay, which are the most willing to buy over the counter products.

I feel there is an definite need for some products to be revised but some people literally can’t afford to buy these products for example; diclofenac gel on prescription for 100g is £8.40, an NHS prescription charge but over the counter is a staggering £17.50. I don’t think many people could budget for that every 2 to four weeks. Looking at paracetamol now that is cheap and you can legally buy 96 at one time which is almost a full POM pack. This would come to a small £1.35 depending on the franchise compared to the £8.40 charge plus dispensing costs.

I once had a lady who was pregnant who was given 32 paracetamol on prescription. Yes she needs the doctors go ahead before self medicating so a prescription seems the best pass. She refused my offer of buying the paracetamol for 45p even though it was 30 minutes wait. Crazy. It’s these  kind of issues I think they need to crack down on.

What are everyone else’s views?



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