Intended for healthcare professionals


NHS advises GPs not to prescribe “low value” drugs

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 30 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5599
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

NHS England will issue guidance to GPs and commissioners to limit the prescribing of “low value” treatments on the NHS, as part of a drive to reduce costs and unwarranted variation.

The NHS will also consult further with patients on plans to restrict access to drugs that can be bought over the counter, such as paracetamol for minor, short term conditions, which it estimates will save £190m (€215m; $255m) a year.

The proposals were approved by NHS England’s board on Thursday 30 November,1 after an initial public consultation. GPs and clinical commissioning groups will now be advised to restrict the prescribing of 18 “ineffective, unsafe, and low clinical value” treatments (see box), which NHS …

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