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Finding it difficult to get emollients on prescription?

Finding it difficult to get emollients on prescription?


Many people with eczema are finding it difficult to get their preferred emollient – or, in some cases, any emollient – on prescription.


Why is this?


  • GPs are advised, where possible, to prescribe the emollient with the ‘lowest acquisition’ cost from the range of emollients listed in their local formulary. A ‘formulary’ is the list of medicines and other treatments that are available on NHS prescription in a particular area. Formularies vary widely.
  • Sometimes a patient’s prescription is automatically switched to another treatment, usually to a cheaper alternative. This cheaper alternative should be comparable with or better than the original, but sometimes it’s not. This is known as ‘script switching’.


What can I do about it?


You should still be able to get sufficient quantities of emollient on prescription to treat your eczema effectively, even if it’s not your preferred brand. If you’ve been refused emollient on prescription altogether, or the alternative you’ve been prescribed isn’t working well for you, or you haven't been prescribed enough, please download and print out our information sheet on the right of this page, and show it to your GP or pharmacist.