Prescribing of Over the Counter Medicines

From 1st June 2019 a range of medicines that are available to buy over the counter (OTC) from chemists and supermarkets will no longer be routinely prescribed by the Lawson Practice.

Theses are medicines associated with a number of minor, short term health conditions which either get better by themselves or can be easily self-treated.

Which Minor Illnesses are included

The change applies to medicines for a total of 35 conditions which includes


-cold sores



-nappy rash

-warts and verruca’s

For the full list of conditions please see the guidance from NHS England below

Why are we making this change

NHS England carried out a public consultation on reducing prescribing of over-the-counter medicines for minor, short-term health concerns from December 2017 to March 2018.

In the year prior to June 2017, the NHS spent approximately £569 million on prescriptions for medicines which can be purchased over the counter from a pharmacy and other outlets such as supermarkets.

Vitamins/minerals and probiotics have also been included in the consultation proposals as items of limited clinical effectiveness which are of high cost to the NHS.

The change will also ease some of the pressure on GP surgeries so doctors and other healthcare professional can concentrate on patients with more serious conditions or Long Term Conditions.

Will there be any exceptions

There are certain scenarios where patients should continue to have their treatments prescribed and these are outlined below:

    • Treatment for a long term condition (e.g. regular pain relief for chronic arthritis or treatments for inflammatory bowel disease).  
    • For the treatment of more complex forms of minor illnesses (e.g. severe migraines that are unresponsive to over the counter medicines).
    • For those patients that have symptoms that suggest the condition is not minor (i.e. those with red flag symptoms for example indigestion with very bad pain.)
    • Treatment for complex patients (e.g. immunosuppressed patients).
    • Patients on prescription only treatments

Please click here for further guidance. 

Self-care advice is available through our website and also through NHS choices websites. You can also see your local Pharmacy for advice.

Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website