Private Prescriptions

Below you will find some frequently asked questions by patients who have been seen by a private doctor. The responses are supported by North Central London Integrated Care Board (NCL ICB) who are responsible for allocation NHS budget and commissioning services in our local area.

Can I get my private prescription transferred to an NHS prescription?

If you see a private doctor or specialist and they recommend a particular medication or treatment for you, this will be a private prescription. The GP practice will not usually be able to transfer a private prescription onto an NHS prescription.

What happens when I continue the treatment on the NHS?

If you ask your GP to take over prescribing of a medication or treatment recommended by the private doctor or specialist, they will need to be satisfied that prescribing is appropriate, responsible and what they would prescribe for other NHS patients with the same diagnosis / condition. Your GP may not prescribe the particular medication suggested by a private doctor in the following circumstances:

·   The medication is generally not prescribed on the NHS.

  • The medication is not licensed in the UK or is being used for a purpose not included in its UK licence.
  • Normally, NHS specialists and not GPs, would prescribe the medicine. So, GPs may be unfamiliar with the medicine and how it should be prescribed and reviewed. GPs would not normally prescribe these medicines on NHS prescription.

·   The use of the medication is not compatible with national or local prescribing guidelines.    

  • For example, In our local area the medicine may not be included in the normal NHS treatment for your condition or would not normally be prescribed first, therefore it would not normally be recommended on an NHS prescription.

· The GP does not believe the medication is appropriate or necessary for you.

If your GP is unable to prescribe the medication suggested by the private doctor, they may give you the option of having a different but equally effective medication prescribed on the NHS. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can pay for your private prescription through your private doctor. This will not affect any other medications, which are currently prescribed for you by your GP.

I cannot afford to pay for the treatment privately, what can I do?

It is important to consider all potential costs when using a private consultant and this includes medicine costs. If your GP is unable to prescribe the medicine on an NHS prescription for one of the reasons documented above, you should speak to the clinician that issued you with the private prescription to discuss what to do next. This may include them recommending an alternative less costly medicine or one which may be prescribed by your GP on an NHS prescription.

Below is a list (not exhaustive) of commonly request items that CANNOT be prescribed on the NHS, even for NHS patients:

  • Finasteride 1mg 
  • Minoxidil 2% solution 
  • Malaria Prophylaxis
  • Evening primrose oil