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Over the Counter Medicines



We’re considering how to implement national guidelines that would limit prescriptions for some ‘over the counter’ medicines and treatments for minor conditions.

From 11 September 2019 to 31 January 2020 we asked for people's views on our proposals so that we can use this feedback to make a decision about what we do next.

The survey is now closed. A report on responses from the survey as well as details about the next steps surrounding the proposals will be made available soon on this page.


What we’re proposing

Over the counter medicines are ones that you can buy without a prescription from pharmacies and some shops.

The proposed changes would mean that in most cases you would no longer be given a prescription to treat some minor health conditions which:

  • would get better on their own without treatment,
  • could be treated at home using medicines from a pharmacy or shop, or
  • would require medicines or treatments that aren’t proven to be effective.

For more details about these proposals and a full list of what medicines, treatments and minor conditions would be affected, please read our information booklet.


Why we’re proposing this

We’re considering limiting prescriptions for 17 different medicines, treatments and minor conditions, including: dandruff, coughs and colds, sore throats, mouth ulcers, sun protection, probiotics, and vitamins and minerals. This is to:

  • make better use of NHS funding and resources,
  • better inform patients about how they can treat some minor conditions themselves, and
  • improve how consistently GPs prescribe certain medicines and treatments.


How we engaged

We asked people in Liverpool to share their views on these proposals by completing a short online survey.

People could also request the survey in different languages and in other formats. Please see the resources below for more information. 


Further Resources


Alternative formats


For a paper version of the questionnaire, or to request it in another format, please get in touch:



Also available in:

  • Easy Read
  • Large Print
  • Audio / Braille