NHS England has set out plans to curb the prescribing of a further group of ‘low priority’ items such as silk garments and bath oils in a move to cut costs by up to £70m a year.
NHS England has already ordered an end to the routine prescribing of homeopathic products and a raft of OTC products used to treat 35 minor self-limiting illnesses
The latest consultation is asking for views on:
The items are:
The proposed recommendations on glucose testing strips and needles are focused on substitution for cheaper, but equally effective products, not a reduction in prescribing of these items, says NHS England. Insulin pen needles vary in cost from £3.95 to £30.08 for 100 and strips range in price from £5.45 to £16.53 for 50. The aim is to ensure consistency across the country and encourage commissioners and prescribers to consider the more cost-effective options.
The consultation will run for three months until February 28 2019, after which joint commissioning guidance is expected to be published by NHS England and NHS Clinical Commissioners.