Due to the financial pressures facing the organisation, Somerset CCG is proposing to make the groups of products listed below ‘non-formulary’ from 1 December 2016. This means that these products would no longer be recommended on prescription from that date.
In taking these difficult actions, the CCG hopes to free up financial resources in order to continue investing in improving services and outcomes for patients with more serious conditions.
The CCG is currently undertaking a four week period of engagement to ensure that affected patient groups and organisations have an opportunity to consider the impact of this proposal and suggest any additional actions to mitigate the potential impact.
These products are sometimes prescribed to patients who have been diagnosed with coeliac disease.
The CCG currently spends approximately £350,000 per year on prescribing these foods across Somerset.
However, people with coeliac disease can safely manage their condition by following a gluten-free diet without the need for specially formulated gluten-free foods; these foods are now widely available in supermarkets and no longer need to be prescribed.
Click on this link to see a question and answer page on gluten-free prescribing in Somerset
Medicines for minor ailments
A significant proportion of GP appointments, GP practice and community pharmacy time is taken up in processing prescriptions for minor ailments that are more suitable for health advice and self-care.
Many products are available to purchase cheaply in pharmacies or supermarkets at the same strength that a GP would prescribe. Pharmacists are qualified to advise on a wide range of treatments for minor ailments and advise on appropriate medication without the need for an appointment.
Examples of products the CCG is proposing to make non-formulary for the treatment of minor ailments include: hay fever preparations, travel medicines, simple pain killers for minor aches and pains, vitamin supplements, warts and verruca treatments, and moisturisers for minor dry skin conditions.
Click on this link to read more about medicines for minor ailments
The closing date for comments was Monday 7 November 2016.
At the Somerset CCG Governing Body meeting on 17 November 2016, members recommended that Somerset GPs cease the routine prescribing of gluten-free and minor ailment products from 1 December 2016.
You can read the news release here
You can read the decision letter regarding gluten-free foods here
You can read the decision letter regarding medicines for minor ailments here