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Pharmacists to prescribe drugs for minor illnesses

Treatments for seven conditions such as sore throats and earaches are now available directly from pharmacists, without the need to visit a doctor.

The Pharmacy First scheme will allow most chemists in England to issue prescriptions to patients without appointments or referrals.

NHS England says it will free up around 10 million GP appointments a year.

Pharmacy groups welcome the move but there is concern about funding and recent chemist closures.

Pharmacists can carry out confidential consultations and advise whether any treatment, including antibiotics, are needed for the list of seven minor ailments.

Patients needing more specialist or follow-up care will be referred onwards.

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Source: BBC News, 31 January 2024


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