The CCGs in Kirklees spend around £1.3 million on medicines that are readily available over-the-counter. Money spent locally each year on prescribing over-the-counter medicines is equivalent to:

  • 211 Hip operations; or
  • 1,380 Cataract operations; or
  • 91 Breast Cancer treatments; or
  • 43 Community nurses

Our campaign encourages people to think about using NHS resources more effectively and to buy small quantities of over-the counter-medicines for short term use from a local pharmacy, shop or supermarket.

The current phase of this campaign focuses on antihistamines and also steroid nasal sprays, which are available over the counter, for the treatment of hay fever and related minor illnesses. By choosing inexpensive in-store brands, patients can buy their medicine for less than half the price the NHS pays when providing them on prescription.

A previous campaign asking people to buy medicines like paracetamol rather than request them on prescription resulted in a decrease in number of items being prescribed and a saving of around £20,000 so far across Kirklees.

If you need advice on treating hay fever or other minor illnesses, please speak to your local pharmacist. Health advice and information about your nearest pharmacy and opening times is on the NHS Choices website here. Further information is also available in this flyer.