569 Million Reasons

In 2018 more than 14,000 people took part in our patient and public engagement survey and shared their views on purchasing over the counter medicines for minor conditions. In 2019 we'll be responding to the insights shared and doing more to raise awareness about over the counter medicines.

In 2017 the NHS spent approximately £569 million on prescriptions for medicines for minor conditions which could have been bought over the counter from a high street pharmacy or supermarket.  

By reducing what we spend on treating conditions that are self-limiting or lend themselves to self-care, we will have more money to spend on high priority areas that have a greater impact for patients, to support improvements in services and to deliver transformation that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the NHS. 

The 569 million reasons survey closed in November 2018. 

What's happening in 2019 

The SYB Integrated Care System partnered with an independent agency in 2018 to create and deliver a public engagement campaign designed to gather insights and attitudes to the withdrawal from prescription of some common over the counter medications. A dedicated web platform 569millionreasons was created as the central place to coordinate the campaign and access the survey, test the messaging and view self-care/help educational resources.

Toolkits for Practices, CCGs and pharmacies were provided as were face to face staff on-boarding workshops held at CCGs (involving CCG & practice staff), Patients Participation Groups/Community/Community and Voluntary Sector and a Press toolkit.

More than 14,000 people took part in the patient and public engagement survey and shared their views on purchasing over the counter medicines for minor conditions.

An independent report has been prepared and the the insights shared by the public and prescribers will be taken to inform our next steps. View the report here