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Expanding Pharmacy First: Free OTC Medicines for Low-Income Patients

Expanding Pharmacy First: A Call for Free OTC Medicines for Low-Income Patients

The Health and Social Care Committee (HSCC) has urged for the expansion of the Pharmacy First service to include free over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for low-income individuals. This recommendation aims to alleviate the financial burden on patients during the cost-of-living crisis and reduce reliance on GP services for minor ailments. By providing free OTCs, the HSCC hopes to encourage more people to utilise community pharmacies, easing the strain on general practitioners. This expansion is part of a broader vision to enhance the range of clinical services offered by community pharmacies.
For locum pharmacists, this expansion could mean increased responsibilities and opportunities to play a critical role in primary healthcare. It emphasises the need for adequate funding, workforce planning, and support for additional training to manage the anticipated increase in service demand effectively.

Read more about the recommendations and their implications for community pharmacies here.

Posted on 30 May 2024 by Adrian Hodges
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Adrian Hodges

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