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NHS to stop funding homeopathy and some drugs in targeted savings drive

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3560 (Published 21 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3560
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The NHS is to stop funding homeopathy and a host of drugs that patients can buy over the counter as part of a major efficiency savings drive.

A public consultation1 launched on 21 July proposes limiting GPs’ prescribing of over-the-counter drugs such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, antifungal treatment, and eczema creams which currently cost the NHS £50m-100m a year (€56m-112m; $65m-130m).

It also proposes limiting prescribing of 18 medicines which are “relatively ineffective, unnecessary, inappropriate, or unsafe for prescription” and cost an estimated £141m a year in total. These include homeopathic remedies, co-proxamol, immediate release fentanyl, and liothyronine.

If taken forward, it will be issued as formal guidance to …

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