The challenge faced by all NHS organisations is how to spend the available budget in ways that most benefit the health of the whole population and deliver good value-for-money. We have a duty to ensure that every service we buy on your behalf is delivered to a high standard, is clinically effective and can be provided within our budget. As part of this, we have to regularly consider the medicines, treatments, products and food items that GPs in Sandwell and West Birmingham prescribe for patients to ensure that they are necessary, that they will improve your illness or condition and that they represent good value.
In Sandwell and West Birmingham, it is estimated that we spend about £1.5M per year on unnecessary prescribing. This includes medicines that can be bought much more cheaply by patients themselves than we would have to pay for them through the NHS. If we were not spending this money, we would be able to invest in new, high cost treatments for conditions such as heart failure, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.
Certain medicines for short-term, minor conditions, for example, for medicines to treat coughs and sore throats, can be bought at a low cost from your local pharmacy or supermarket. Sometimes medicines are also available that offer no clear health benefit for patients and do not improve their illness or condition; this is not a good use of NHS money.
You can see a list of the medicines, treatments, products and food items that are available on prescription through GPs in Sandwell and West Birmingham below:
View Poster 1 pdf here (203 KB)
View Poster 2 pdf here (185 KB)
View the leaflet pdf here (242 KB)
[link to prescribing policy]