Drugs shortages and what you can do to help

There are an unusually high number of common medicines that are currently in short supply at the moment.

Shortages can be caused for many reasons but are usually short term and the product returns to stock within 4 weeks. There are a smaller number of medicines where there is a long standing problem and these can last for months and in some cases even a year or more although this is very rare.

Breathe easy this winter - join in with #Scarfie

Health professionals across mid and south Essex are encouraging people with respiratory conditions to stay well this winter by joining in with a new campaign #Scarfie launching today (Monday 4 December).

#Scarfie hopes to encourage people with Asthma, COPD and other respiratory illnesses to wear a scarf this winter to ease their breathing and keep well.

Prescription curbs to free up hundreds of millions of pounds for frontline care

NHS England has today (30 November) agreed plans to save hundreds of millions of pounds each year by recommending low value treatments, including fish oil, herbal remedies and homeopathy no longer be provided on the NHS, and launching a consultation on curbs to prescriptions for some ‘over the counter’ products such as paracetamol.

GPs issued 1.1 billion prescription items at a cost of £9.2 billion in 2015/16. The vast majority were appropriate but many were for medicines, products or treatments that do not require a prescription and can be purchased over the counter from pharmacies, supermarkets, petrol stations, corner shops or other retailers in some cases at a much lower cost than the price paid by the NHS.