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30 August 2019

GP Emollient Prescription Letter

If you are struggling to access emollients on prescription for your psoriasis, show this information to your GP.

We have heard from lots of people who have been struggling to access their preferred emollient for psoriasis on prescription, or in some cases being refused emollients from their GP altogether.

GPs are often advised by their Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to prescribe emollients with the lowest acquisition costs, hence why you may not be receiving your preferred emollient. If you are experiencing this issue, the letter attached at the end of this article outlines the key information for your GP demonstrating why this is problematic for people who rely on emollients as a first line treatment to help to manage their psoriasis.

The letter also contains information for your GP regarding the recent change in NHS England clinical guidance which states that emollients should no longer routinely be prescribed for ‘mild dry skin’. The guidance has been widely misinterpreted by many CCGs, leading to a blanket ban on emollients, despite an exception which instructs that patients with long term conditions (such as psoriasis) should continue receiving over the counter medicines on prescription.

So if you are having difficulty getting emollients, or your preferred emollients on prescription, print this information sheet to give to your GP at your next appointment.

What about emollient wash products?

It is also worth noting that in June 2019, separate NHS England guidance was issued, stating that emollient wash products would no longer be prescribed in primary care. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions for psoriasis in this case, so if you need emollient wash products you will now need to purchase these over the counter.

If you feel you are being affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, please do write to your MP to help to raise awareness among policy makers of the issues facing people with inflammatory skin conditions. You can find information about how to find your MP and a template letter here.