Changes to products available on prescription

NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has recommended that GPs stop routinely prescribing branded medicines and a number of lower value, self-care products, which are widely available to buy without a prescription from pharmacies and supermarkets, including:

  • Baby milks
  • Infant colic products
  • Vitamin supplements
  • Emollients (moisturisers) for minor dry skin conditions
  • Cosmetic products, including eflornithine for facial hair
  • Antifungal nail paints

Sunscreen productsBy not routinely prescribing these self-care treatments the NHS in Calderdale could save £300,000 each year, while £100,000 is spent every year on prescribing branded medicines without a medical reason, where a non-branded (generic) medicine containing the same active ingredient would be as effective.


  • While a number of self-care products are no-longer available on prescription, there are exceptions in which these treatments can be prescribed:
  • This decision has been made following public opinion and feedback gathered in our public consultation: Changing the way we prescribe in Calderdale, which ran from 16 October – 4 December 2017.
  • Increasing demand for NHS services, as well as the effects of national austerity measures, means that the organisation must make difficult, but clinically-led, decisions to ensure that the money available can meet the health needs of people in Calderdale.
  • Baby milks and formula for infants diagnosed with cows’ milk protein allergy,  specialist metabolic disorders, for premature and other infants on the recommendation of a paediatric dietician/paediatrician where feeds are not readily available.
  • Vitamins for a diagnosed vitamin deficiencies and following weight loss surgery.
  • Emollients for patients with diagnosed psoriasis or eczema, foot care in diabetic patients, lymphoedema and to prevent skin ulceration in fragile patients.
  • Sunscreen for patients diagnosed with abnormal reactions to sunlight.
  • Branded medicines may still be prescribed where there is a clinical reason. For example some medicines for epilepsy need to be prescribed by brand. The CCG will also prescribe by brand where this is cost effective or recommended by local and national guidelines. 

For Further information please click on the Calderdale Commissioning Group Link:

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