Schools requesting over the counter (OTC) medications on prescriptions

Schools are asking to provide a prescription for over the counter (OTC) medication as they will not allow a child to take medication unless they are prescribed by a GP. The GP is unable to oblige with this request. We abide by the BMAs* guidance in this matter, on which their advise states:

  • GPs would not normally prescribe simple OTC medications for any patient, including children, and a GP's prescription should not therefore be required before administering such medicines to a child
  • MHRA licenses all medicines and classifies them as OTC when it considers it safe and appropriate that they may be used without a prescription
  • It is appropriate therefore for OTC medicines to be given, or authorised, by parents when they consider it necessary. This may be in a home, nursery or school environment

The BMA would therefore consider it a misuse of clinical resources to provide a prescription for an OTC medicine, to satisfy the ruling of a nursery or school.

Please could you confirm that the school policy follows the Department for Education's guidance for supporting children to remain in school with medical conditions and all staff are familiar with this policy.

A summary is attached and https: link in the below document.

School requesting OTC medications on prescriptions - further information

*The British Medical Association (BMA) is the trade union and professional body for doctors in the UK

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