The seven treatments are the latest to be added to NHS England’s growing list of medications and treatments which should not be prescribed in primary care, because it believes they have “low clinical effectiveness” or “more cost-effective products are available”.
Following the results of a public consultation – which ran from November 2018 to February 2019 – NHS England will restrict the prescribing of the following medicines and items:
- minocycline for acne
- needles for pre-filled and reusable insulin pens that cost more than £5 per 100 needles
- emollient bath and shower preparations for dry and pruritic skin conditions
- silk garments.
Blood glucose testing strips for type 2 diabetes that cost more than £10 for 50 strips were also included in the consultation. However, NHS England said it is “undertaking further work” to determine “which factors influence the choice of blood testing strips”, so has not added them to the list.
Commenting on the results of the consultation, NHS England said it had listened to a “range of views from patients, clinicians, local commissioners and members of the public”.
It “also considered additional clinical evidence reviewed by the [NHS] Specialist Pharmacy Service on the use of bath and shower preparations and silk garments for the treatment of dry and pruritic skin conditions”, the commissioning body added.
Discretion will lie with individual clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to decide whether to implement the national commissioning guidance, it said.
In 2017, C+D hosted a roundtable debate to discuss what plans to scrap certain treatments – including gluten-free items – from prescriptions would mean for pharmacists, patients, and the wider NHS. Listen to it below, and subscribe to all of C+D's podcasts here.