Changes to coeliac prescribing and Over The Counter medications

Historically, gluten free products were added to the list of products
available on NHS prescriptions when they were not easily available for
people to purchase.

There is a wide range of gluten free products available from
supermarkets, the internet and health food stores along with local
pharmacies that are sold at prices that are considerably lower than the
NHS is charged when bought for use on prescription. In addition to
these products, there is also a wide variety of naturally gluten free food
including; rice, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and

All individuals will now be expected to purchase gluten-free foods,
including groups that currently receive free prescriptions (such as
children, elderly and those on low incomes) from supermarkets,
pharmacies, on-line or other shops
Patients with metabolic conditions will continue to be allowed to have
prescribed products because these cannot easily be purchased. This is
mentioned because some of these products are both low protein and
low gluten.

Following public consultation, HVCCG have changed the policy on prescribing Gluten-free foods and certain OTC medication for self-limiting conditions
The full guidance can be found on the Herts Valley CCG webpage

In 2016, NHS services in Hertfordshire spent over £4 million on providing items which are also readily available to buy without a prescription. As the local population size continues to grow, this prescribing places pressure on scarce NHS resource

All individuals will now be expected to purchase OTC medicines for conditions that can be managed through self-care and this includes groups that currently receive free prescriptions (such as children, elderly and those on low incomes). GPs will be able to prescribe in exceptional cases. This policy does not cover long-term conditions.
Minor ailments are minor and / or self-limiting conditions and can be managed by the individual themselves. Products aimed at treating the symptoms of many minor ailments should not routinely be prescribed at the expense of the NHS as such items are widely available in pharmacies or shops at a retail price that is often lower than the NHS prescription charge (currently £8.60 per item).

The following conditions have been identified as being self-limiting and therefore Hertfordshire patients will be expected to purchase medicines to treat:

Acne Fungal nail infection
Allergies including hayfever General wellbeing (vitamins, supplements & probiotics) Short- and long-term
Athlete’s foot Haemorrhoids
Cold sores Head lice
Colic Nappy rash
Conjunctivitis Short-term pain and inflammation
Constipation (short-term) Sore throat
Coughs & colds Protection from sunburn
Dandruff Sweating
Dental hygiene Teething
Diarrhoea (less than 72 hours) Threadworms
Dry eyes Thrush (short-term)
Dry skin conditions with no diagnosis Travel protection

If you wish to contact the CCG about these changes , their e mail is or call 01442 898865