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Last Updated: Monday, 17 July 2006, 19:47 GMT 20:47 UK
Medicines put on restricted list
Family doctors are being told to stop prescribing medicines patients can get for themselves in a bid to save £1m.

Suffolk West Primary Care Trust (PCT) is targeting painkillers and some health supplements which they say are available at outlets like supermarkets.

The PCT is to use any savings on patients with more serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

GPs will not be banned from prescribing medicines on the "restricted list" but must exercise discretion.

'Really necessary'

Linda Lord, support pharmacist, said posters giving details of the restricted list would be displayed in all 27 surgery waiting rooms and 28 community pharmacies in West Suffolk from mid-July.

In addition, a total of 3,000 leaflets will be made available from the same venues for patients to pick up and take home.

Mrs Lord said: "We're asking GPs not to prescribe any of the medicines on the list unless really necessary.

"These medicines are not banned but the PCT wants doctors to think carefully before prescribing them and wants patients to think carefully before asking their doctors to prescribe them.

"The intention is not for patients to go without the treatment they need and doctors can use their discretion to prescribe these medicines on the NHS for patients on low incomes, such as elderly people living off the state pension."


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