HEALTH chiefs are urging hayfever sufferers who get antihistamines on prescription to instead buy them over-the-counter to reduce costs to the NHS.
NHS Greater Huddersfield and NHS North Kirklees CCGs are campaigning to save £1.3m on medicines that are cheaper to buy in a pharmacy rather than on prescription - a cost the equivalent of 43 community nurses.
They’ve already reduced prescriptions of paracetamol, now they’re urging people needing small quantities of the drugs not to ask for prescriptions of antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays.
They say they can be bought for half the price the NHS pays when providing them on prescription.
Dr Steve Ollerton, Clinical Leader, NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and a local GP, said: “Every time a doctor writes a prescription, the NHS incurs additional charges because of dispensing and administrative fees. If you include the GP’s time, the cost is even higher.
“These common medicines can be bought from a pharmacy or shop for less than half the price the NHS pays when providing them on prescription.”
This is the second phase of the campaign which has already reaped £20,000 savings in Kirklees after advising about buying paracetamol over-the counter instead of on prescription.