Restriction of gluten-free foods on NHS prescriptions

Restriction of gluten-free foods on NHS prescriptions

November 21, 2018

As of 4th December 2018, the prescribing of gluten-free (GF) foods on the NHS in England will be restricted to bread and mixes only.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced its decision to place restrictions on GF prescribing earlier this year. This means that products such as biscuits, cakes, cereals, cooking aids, grains/flours and pasta will no longer be available for prescribing in primary care.

The necessary regulatory amendments have now been put before Parliament and they will come into force on 4th December 2018. As such, revisions have been made to Part XV (the ‘ACBS list’) and Part XVIIIA (drugs, medicines and other substances that may not be ordered under the NHS) of the December 2018 Drug Tariff to reflect this change in GF prescribing.

Community pharmacy teams in England, therefore, cannot dispense an NHS prescription for GF products (other than bread and mixes) on or after 4th December 2018.

PSNC previously recommended that any outstanding prescriptions (including owings) for GF foods other than bread and mixes were dispensed and submitted for payment before December 2018; this advice remains in place. If a patient presents a prescription for any restricted GF foods in December, they will need to be referred back to the prescriber to discuss suitable alternatives.

PSNC has also created the following briefing to explain the changes to the availability of GF foods on NHS prescription and what this means for community pharmacy teams.

PSNC Briefing 061/18: Changes to the availability of gluten-free foods on NHS prescription


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