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Switch-up to self-care:
Self-Care Day 2023




Alderley Park, Cheshire, UK – 24 July 2023

For those of you that don’t know us, Maxwellia is the UK’s only company dedicated to switching.

So, what is switching?

We identify products that meet unmet healthcare needs in society and take them through a rigorous reclassification process to make them available to buy over-the-counter (OTC), either in high street pharmacies or online, allowing people to look after themselves (self-care) more effectively.

And why is switching important?

The UK OTC sector saves the NHS £6.4 billion of prescription and appointment costs each year1 and with 92% of the UK’s population using over the counter medicines to treat minor illnesses every year1, it’s a pretty big deal. In fact, the PAGB consumer healthcare association has published a ground-breaking report detailing the economic impact of the OTC sector in the UK

Under pressure

Despite the significant impact of OTCs in the healthcare industry, it’s still not enough. The increasing pressure on the NHS is no secret. With on-going strike action and a shortage of healthcare professionals, the NHS is struggling to meet demand. And with an aging population, this pressure is set to continue.

Switch solution


A further 25 million GP appointments and 5 million visits to A&E for self-treatable conditions could be avoided with greater use of OTCs1 which is why in May this year, the UK government identified medicine reclassification as part of their primary care recovery plan2.

The primary care recovery plan states that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), along with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England will work together with suppliers to identify medicines which could be reclassified from ‘available only on prescription (POM)’ to ‘available in a pharmacy (P)’ – something that Maxwellia has been doing since 2013.


Switching presents a huge opportunity for UK healthcare, if future reclassifications reduced NHS prescribing levels and spending by just 5%, it could save the NHS £1.4 billion per year1.


But it does more than just save money, it also:


  • Improves public health by raising awareness of hidden conditions.

  • Widens access to medicines through increased availability.

  • Empowers individuals to take control of their health and wellbeing.


No quick fix


Switching is true innovation, and there is no bigger fan of switching than Maxwellia - it’s in our DNA! However, it isn’t a quick fix and it’s certainly not a smooth ride.


Here at Maxwellia we have a tried and tested DynamicSwitch™ process, that means we can run multiple switch projects at any one time. But there are many levers, many stages, and often many hurdles to overcome meaning a switch project can take anywhere between 2-5 years.


Switching is a highly regulated process, and rightly so. With increased access to medicines comes increased risk; that risk must be managed carefully with mitigation measures put in place to ensure the safety of the public. Maxwellia believe there are some parts of the process that could be accelerated to bring medicines to market more quickly, whilst still maintaining their high safety profile.


Maxwellia look forward to working with the MHRA, DHSC, PAGB and other key stakeholders to improve the current switch process and drive new medicine innovation, helping to support the NHS and further encourage self-care in the UK.



  1. PAGB Frontier Economics report ‘The economic impact of over-the-counter products in the UK’ (July 2023):  

  2. NHS England Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care

For more information, or to interview Anna Maxwell please contact Kim Wathall: +44 (0)7467 489350

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