OTCs and self-care could save NHS £1.7bn a year

PAGB, the consumer health care association, has released a report on the economic value of the over-the-counter sector. The report suggests that encouraging people to take a more a proactive approach to their health by promoting self-care could save the NHS over £1.7 billion per year by eliminating 25 million unnecessary GP appointments and five million available visits to A&E.

Responding to this report, we have released the following statement.

Our Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:

“We have long championed a pharmacy first service, that would enhance patient care as well as alleviate the pressure on GPs and the NHS. Since the pandemic, we have all seen how much people in local communities value the role of pharmacies in offering vital advice and support.

We firmly believe that a pharmacy first service, shaped to meet the evolving needs of the public post-pandemic, holds the key to improving patient access in primary care. Utilising the clinical skills of community pharmacy teams, including the increasing number of pharmacists that are prescribers, to help treat common conditions is the way forward. However, this is only feasible if the sector is adequately and sustainably funded.”