Cancer charity fears over NHS plans to remove sun cream from prescription list

FOLLOWING NHS England’s announcement that certain medicines may no longer be available on prescription, Shaw based Melanoma UK is carrying out research with several GPs in the area.

Considered a ‘low value’ medicine, sun cream is one of the items that could be included in the crackdown.

NHS Clinical Commissioners chief executive Julie Wood said “difficult choices” had to be made given the unprecedented financial and demand challenges facing the NHS.

She said it was important to reduce spending on prescription items that have “little or no clinical value.”

However, Gill Nuttall CEO of Melanoma UK, has criticised the proposals.

Gillian Nuttall

“I speak to melanoma patients every day who are receiving life prolonging treatments in melanoma,” Gill told the Correspondent.

“Some of them suffer some terrible side effects, including extreme reactions to the sun.

“Sun screen has a very high clinical value to those patients.

“We are currently speaking with GPs in the North West and once our findings are complete, we will be making further representation to the Department of Health.”

Gill added: “NHS England should think very carefully before restricting sun cream prescriptions.

“It is not just melanoma patients who will be affected by these proposals, there’s other skin conditions, such as Lupus and PLE (polymorphic light eruption).

“Already, GPs are indicating that patients are going to be clinically disadvantaged if the ability to prescribe is removed.”

To contact Melanoma UK ring 0808 171 2455 or email:

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