The GHA has received a number of representations from patients regarding the changes to prescription policy announced in April this year. The GHA wishes to reassure patients that nobody will go without medication that is clinically necessary and appropriate for their needs.
The GHA reiterates that it is not stopping or withholding prescriptions, but has stopped providing prescriptions for products that are easily available over the counter from Pharmacies and, in some cases, is providing alternative but medically equivalent medications to those that may have been provided in the past.
Patients who have any concerns with the medications that they are prescribed should discuss these with their GP, who will work with the patient to ensure that they receive the clinically appropriate medication for their individual needs.
The Director General, Prof Patrick Geoghegan OBE, said: ‘The GHA will not allow any of its patients to go without medication that they genuinely need. It is important, however, to recognise that some medications are cheaper and easier to access over the counter than via prescription, and that some prescribed medications have been changed from expensive brands to alternative generic options but what is inside the pack is medically the same. This policy is not about taking medicine away from patients who need it; it is about responsible use of the GHA’s resources so that we can provide our patients with the treatment and medications that are the best options for them. If you have any worries or concerns about your prescriptions, please discuss these with your GP, who will work with you to ensure that you receive the right prescription for your needs.’