GPs urge expansion of NHS treatment blacklist

Half of GPs want the 'blacklist' of therapies that cannot be prescribed on the NHS expanded to save money, our poll has found.

GPs call for homeopathic treatments to be added to the NHS blacklist (Photograph: SPL)
GPs call for homeopathic treatments to be added to the NHS blacklist (Photograph: SPL)

Of 694 GP respondents, 49% thought the list should be expanded to include treatments that do not offer the NHS good value for money.

Just 28% of GPs did not think the list should be expanded, while 23% were unsure.

The current NHS blacklist has not been updated since it was compiled in 1985.

Many GPs argued that homeopathic treatments and erectile dysfunction therapies should not be available on the NHS.

Some argued that all treatments available over-the-counter (OTC) from pharmacies should be added to the list.

Others called for specific OTC treatments, such as paracetamol oral suspensions and cough medicines, to be barred from prescription on the NHS.

Emollients, glucosamine and gluten-free products were also identified as products that did not offer good value for money and should not be prescribable on the NHS.

The blacklist was originally drawn up to include treatments that were deemed to be too expensive to justify NHS funding, not necessary or which had no medicinal use.

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