Department of Health consultation on gluten free prescriptions

Gluten-free (GF) foods are available on prescription to patients diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, and have been since the late 1960s when their availability was extremely limited.

The Department of Health consultation proposes options for restricting the availability of GF products on NHS prescription. They would value your views to help inform their work.

GF foods are now readily available in supermarkets and a wider range of naturally GF food types are now available, so the ability of patients to obtain these foods without a prescription has greatly increased.

Changes to the prescribing of GF foods could save NHS resources and reduce the primary care prescription drugs bill by up to £25.7 million per annum .

The Minister for Health has agreed to launch this public consultation on whether to make changes to the prescribing legislation for GF foods. The options considered are:

  • Option 1: Make no changes to the National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) (Prescription of Drugs etc.) Regulations 2004. Under this option GF foods would continue to be prescribed in primary care at NHS expense as now.
  • Option 2: To add all GF foods to Schedule 1 of the above regulations to end the prescribing of GF foods in primary care. Under this option no GF foods would be available on prescription in primary care.
  • Option 3: To only allow the prescribing of certain GF foods (e.g. bread and flour) in primary care, by amending Schedule 1 of the above regulations. Under this option only certain GF foods would be available on prescription in primary care.


The consultation will close on 22nd June 2017. Responses and comments can be submitted through a dedicated mailbox:

The full consultation document can be found here: Gluten free foods consultation document

The online survey can be found here:

A hard copy of the online survey can be found here: Response form gluten free

or writing to :

Prescribing Policy and Legislation Team
Department of Health
Room 2E14
Quarry House
Quarry Hill