This change to pharmacy-led prescribing has mostly removed GPs from gluten-free prescribing. Generally, GPs didn’t have the correct information to be able to advise their patients on what was available on prescription. People with coeliac disease often got nothing or far too much on prescription. With the GFFS, national units are adhered to thus reducing variation. GPs have broadly welcomed the service.
Most GP’s feel that the introduction of the GFFS has had a positive impact on their workload.
Another key benefit is the value for money. Health board formularies are designed to be ‘best value’ and have removed unnecessary and costly out of pocket expenses (OOPEs). Before the introduction of the GFFS costs, for example in Tayside, were increasing by 10% every year. The £250,000 spent in 2010 would now be half a million pounds if these trends had continued, but the latest costs show the spend to be £285,000 due to the new service.
The 2015 Review of the Gluten-Free Additional Pharmaceutical Services showed that patients, pharmacists, GPs and dieticians all valued the service.