Medicines Not Availale on Presription


Position Statement on the Prescribing of Medications Available to Purchase Over the Counter in Ipswich and East Suffolk


Patients are advised to keep a small supply of simple treatments in their medicine cabinet at home so they are able to manage minor ailments themselves.
All these medicines are widely available from supermarkets and pharmacies at reasonable cost. Many of these treatments are more expensive when prescribed on the NHS compared to when they are purchased in pharmacies or supermarkets e.g. paracetamol is approximately 4x more expensive on prescription. The NHS belongs to everybody and the CCG must ensure that its resources are used in the best possible way for all patients.

The Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG does not support the prescribing of medication that is available to buy from local pharmacies or supermarkets for children or adults. The medications listed below are examples of medicines that should be purchased by the patient/parent/guardian.

This list is not exhaustive:


  • Moisturising creams, gels, ointments and balms for dry skin with no diagnosis
  • Hay fever remedies e.g. antihistamines, nasal sprays (patients >18yrs)
  • Bath oils and shower gel (unless recommended by a specialist for infected atopic eczema)
  • Vitamins and supplements e.g. low dose vitamin D (<2,000units), I-Caps, multivitamins
  • Potassium hydroxide for Molluscum contagiosum e.g. Molludab
  • Lubricating eye drops and chloramphenicol eye drops and eye ointment (patients >2yrs)
  • Anti-diarrhoeal medication for short term diarrhoea (<72hrs)
  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen for short term use
  • Antifungal preparations e.g. Canesten
  • Rehydration sachets
  • Anti-inflammatory gels e.g. ibuprofen gel
  • Laxatives for short term use (<72 hours)
  • Head lice treatments
  • Threadworm tablets
  • Lactose free infant formula
  • Antiperspirants
  • Cough and cold remedies
  • Medicated shampoos e.g. Alphosyl, Capasal
  • Mouthwash e.g. Corsodyl
  • Indigestion remedies e.g. Gaviscon, Peptac
  • Haemorrhoidal preparations e.g. Anusol
  • Nasal douches e.g Sterimar
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