A consultation has been launched over proposals to cut the prescription of some over-the-counter medicines across England.

Started on February 5, the plans cover 35 ‘minor and/or self-limiting conditions’, such as vitamins, minerals, and probiotics and are said to be of ‘low’ clinical effectiveness but very expensive for the NHS.

Examples include coughs and colds, indigestion, and athletes foot.

Dr Nupur Yogarajah, a GP and clinical lead for prescribing at Greenwich CCG, said: “This consultation gives people the opportunity to have their say on 33 conditions that either do not usually need treatment or where the treatment can be bought elsewhere, often at lower cost than if they are prescribed.

"National guidance on prescribing over the counter items for these conditions could save the NHS money and put an end to regional variations in what is available on prescription.

"In many cases, self-care can be more effective and convenient than visiting the GP and can free up your GP to see patients that require a doctor's consultation.

"Please do remember to send your completed feedback to Greenwich CCG. This will allow us to make sure that any decisions taken reflect local views."

Prescriptions also include items for conditions which will heal without medical intervention, and where there is ‘little evidence’ of clinical effectiveness or can be bought elsewhere according to the NHS.

The consultation is being carried out by NHS England and NHS Clinical Commissioners and runs until March 14.