UK spends billions on prescribed OTC items

British taxpayers are spending millions of pounds on patients who are being prescribed common bathroom cabinet items such as shampoo, moisturiser, cough lollies, lice treatments and hangover remedies — all of which can be bought OTC in pharmacies.

Household brands such as Vaseline, Strepsils, Benadryl and Berocca account for hundreds of thousands of prescriptions every year, UK National Health Service data shows.

Around 90% of prescriptions are free of charge to patients.

The figures for England,