GPs given green light to prescribe antivirals for flu on NHS

GPs have been alerted that they can start prescribing antivirals on the NHS for patients at risk of severe illness or complications from flu.

The latest surveillance data show that influenza is now circulating at an ‘increased rate’ in the population, prompting advice from chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies on Monday that GPs can now offer antivirals.

Antiviral medicines are prescribed to patients for the prophylaxis and treatment of influenza.

They may be given to patients in clinical at-risk groups as well as any who are at risk of severe illness or complications from untreated flu.

Flu vaccination

The decision to offer antivirals has come weeks earlier than it did during the last flu season, when the decision to make the drugs available came on 11 January.

Official figures show that GPs have driven up vaccination rates among most at-risk groups so far this season, although the number of over 65s has dropped off slightly.

GPs practices were left with large stocks of unused vaccine after the 2015/16 flu season, amid concerns over the decision to allow pharmacies to offer vaccination in parallel.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

The team at Minehead Medical Centre

Somerset GP practice converts to John Lewis-style employee-ownership model

A GP practice in Somerset has become the first in England to operate as a John Lewis-style...

GP consulting room

GPs 'running on empty' as LMC issues third red alert in a month

An LMC has issued its third countywide red alert in four weeks as primary care contends...

Woman holding face in pain

Should GPs treat patients presenting with dental problems?

The MDU's Dr Kathryn Leask considers what GPs should do if a patient presents with...

Conservative Party leadership candidate and foreign secretary Liz Truss

Liz Truss vows to resolve GP pension tax crisis if she becomes prime minister

Liz Truss has affirmed her commitment to resolving the GP pensions crisis but has...

Baby receiving a vaccine in their thigh

JCVI advises changes to routine childhood and HPV immunisation schedules

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended a change...

GP consultation

General practice delivering 'up to double the appointments it is paid for'

General practice in England may be delivering as many as double the number of appointments...