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Steroid Drugs: Prescriptions

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL3632, tabled on 2 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the volume of long-term community prescribing of mid to high potency topical steroids for (1) children, and (2) adults, in England between 2018 and 2020.

Answered on

11 November 2021

The Department has not made an assessment. Decisions about prescribing rest with the general practitioner or other prescriber who has clinical responsibility for that particular aspect of a patient’s care. Prescribing is informed by a range of factors, including any national or local prescribing guidelines but, ultimately, the decision on what to prescribe is made by the prescriber themselves, using their own clinical judgement.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has made recommendations on the prescribing of topical steroids in a number of its clinical guidelines, including those on atopic eczema in those under 12 years of age, psoriasis, and osteoarthritis. It has also published technology appraisals guidance on the frequency of application of topical corticosteroids for atopic eczema.