Retailers are generating extra sales due to the restrictions on GPs prescribing low-value over-the-counter medicines.

Last year, NHS England announced it would curb routine prescriptions for minor, short-term conditions, and an industry expert told RN that GPs are now directing patients to buy products from retailers such as pharmacies.

Convenience stores are also benefiting, according to the deputy store manager of Warner’s Budgens in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, Alayna Pokorski, who said she now sources a bigger range of medical products.

“Booker doesn’t provide the best range when it comes to medical products,” she said. “In order to get a bigger range, we source them from a direct supplier. It’s important to have options, and I think we have what most supermarkets can offer in our store.”

Products limited under the new guidelines included those for sore throats, coughs and colds, as well as any other condition that can be treated with items purchased without a prescription.  

Pokorski added: “We are open longer hours than the local pharmacy in our town, which is an opportunity for us. 

“We are open in the evenings so people can pick up products on their way home from work.”

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