Cost-of-living crisis hits OTC medicines access


More patients are unable to afford OTC medicines and so been sent back to the GP for a prescription.

‘Utterly devastating’: Cost-of-living crisis hits OTC medicines access | The Pharmacist

Pulse magazine asked us to comment on this situation, particularly in regards to our calls for a minor ailments scheme (Pharmacy First) like those in Wales and Scotland.

CEO Janet Morrison said:

“It is extremely worrying that patients are not only unable to afford essential medicines, but also that they also struggle to access the support they need from busy GP practices. With 92% of pharmacy staff already reporting a significant increase in requests from patients unable to access General Practice, it’s not hard to see the value that a fully funded national Pharmacy First service could bring. As well as proving a quick and convenient service for patients, it would enable pharmacy teams to fill a vital gap in healthcare provision for the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Further information

Our Pharmacy First Briefing (aimed at MPs)

Briefing 009/23: Summary of the results of our 2023 Pharmacy Pressures Survey