Major change to prescription rules revealed – will you be affected?

MEDICATIONS for common ailments such as sore throats and ears will be available direct from pharmacies to try and take some of the pressure off GPs.

Drugs that normally require a prescription are being offered over the counter to save $15 million doctor appointments.

Drugs for common diseases will be available directly from pharmacies


Drugs for common diseases will be available directly from pharmaciesPhoto credit: Getty
Rishi Sunak vows to end 8am appointment rush and ease pressure on GPs


Rishi Sunak vows to end 8am appointment rush and ease pressure on GPsPhoto credit: Rex

Women will no longer need to visit a GP to secure birth control pills, while pharmacies will carry out 2.5 million blood pressure tests a year as part of the far-reaching plans.

Measures to ease pressure on GPs will be unveiled today as Rishi Sunak vows to end the 8 a.m. rush to appointments.

In today’s Sun, the Prime Minister writes that post-Covid services have “come under real strain”.

He promises practical steps to relieve doctors and thus hospitals.

The plan is seen as an attempt to reset the Tories after last week’s local election defeat in which the party lost 1,000 council seats.

Pharmacies are given the power to prescribe antibiotics for the first time.

The red tape involved in prescribing simple throat, ear and water infections, sinusitis, infected insect bites and impetigo is taken down before winter.

And patients can self-refer for NHS physiotherapy, podiatry and hearing tests.

Health chiefs are desperate to take the pressure off family doctors, whose struggles with burnout and staff shortages have hurt patient satisfaction.

The Prime Minister says the plans will free up 15 million appointments over the next two years.

Amanda PritchardChief of NHS England, said: “This blueprint will help us free millions of appointments for those who need them most and help staff do less admin and spend more time with patients.”

Thorrun GovindChair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said: “These plans will allow for better access to care.”

Overview of the new powers of pharmacies


Overview of the new powers of pharmacies

Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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