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When the free prescription policy was introduced by the Welsh Government in 2007, the Minister stressed that this aimed to provide medication for free that was only available with a prescription.


Following recent reinforcement advice from the Health Board we are actively encouraging patients to buy available medications over the counter. These include the following:

  • Cough medicines
  • Simple analgesia
  • Laxatives
  • Thrush treatment
  • Anti inflammatory creams e.g. Ibuprofen
  • Mild topical steroids e.g. Hydrocortisone
  • Cold sore treatment
  • Hay fever / Allergy treatment
  • Head lice treatment
  • Bath and shower products

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) currently spends over £7.3 m on OTC products annually, including £17,000 on cough medicines. This spend could be used to provide necessary NHS services.

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