Guernsey doctors told to phase out pain relief plasters

generic photo of a pharmacy
Over the last 12 months, £100,000 was spent on lidocaine plasters in Guernsey. Credit: ITV Channel

Doctors in Guernsey have been told to "stop or greatly reduce" prescribing lidocaine plasters.

Over the last 12 months £100,000 was spent on these plasters, which are typically used to relieve nerve pain in adults after a shingles infection.

The measure forms part of the States' ongoing evaluation into the cost of medicines provided at tax payer's expense.

Teena Bhogal, Chief Pharmacist, said: "The evidence supporting the use of lidocaine plasters for nerve pain is limited and they are relatively expensive compared to other pain treatments, making them less cost-effective."

Currently, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) does not recommend lidocaine plasters for nerve pain due to "insufficient evidence".

Many of those currently prescribed lidocaine plasters should have already had their treatment reviewed.

If not, patients are encouraged to consult their doctor to explore alternative forms of pain relief.

The Committee for Health & Social Care have said that this cost-cutting policy will help to fund the "significant number of new treatments" available to islanders.

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