Patients will not be able to receive for free paracetamol and other medications that do not require prescriptions to treat 35 diseases.
In an attempt to save money, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom (NHS) will prohibit doctors from giving patients medications for diseases such as cold, constipation, dandruff and indigestion.
Such drastic measures will help NHS save almost £100 million a year and will affect those medicines that can be purchased at the pharmacy. This includes drugs for the treatment of diarrhea, sore throat, cough, cold, warts and mouth ulcers.
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of NHS England, said: "The innovation can be described as "Think as a patient, act as a taxpayer". The NHS is probably the most effective health service in the world, but we want to make it even better. Every pound that we can save is a pound that can be allocated for emergency medical care, cancer treatment and many other important services."
People who receive free recipes, such as low-income families, will not be automatically an exception to the rule. But people with serious or long illnesses, for whom these 37 minor conditions can be called side effects, will continue to receive NHS medications.
The reason for taking such radical measures, in particular, was the fact that many of these drugs can be purchased at a pharmacy at a price much lower than the one they cost the NHS.
For example, the NHS prescribes a box of 32 paracetamol pills for £34, because it pays for a doctor's consultation, administrative expenses, and so on. The same pills will cost only 95 pence in the pharmacy. A pack of 12 pills from nausea costs the NHS at £35, but in a pharmacy a person can buy them for as little as £2.18.