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Push to convert more prescription medicines to over-the-counter will put pharmacists at the heart of the nation’s public health, helping futureproof the NHS

Alderley Park, UK – 12 February 2021


PIONEERING pharma company Maxwellia is poised to transform the UK’s self-care market by giving people easier and faster access to the treatments they need by converting prescription-only medicines to versions that can be bought in a pharmacy.


Based in Alderley Park, Cheshire, Maxwellia is looking at a number of medicines which treat a range of conditions in major public health categories that can be ‘switched’ from needing a prescription to being conveniently bought at a local high street or supermarket pharmacy. It has already got three applications under assessment with the MHRA, including women’s health products.


Widening access to a range of medicines in this innovative way will not only transform how people manage and control their own health and broaden the role of pharmacists, the shift could also help ease unnecessary pressure on GPs and the wider NHS. Switching is a rigorous process regulated by the MHRA. Previous well-known examples of switches include Nurofen, Canesten and Viagra Connect.


Pharmacies have become even more instrumental in helping people to care for themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, research from the PAGB, the consumer healthcare association, carried out during last year’s first national lockdown, found that 69% of people were more likely to consider self-care as their first option.(1)


Almost a third (32%) said the pandemic had changed their attitude to the way they use NHS services, with 86% agreeing that A&E and GP appointments should only be used when essential. The survey also found that 31% of people who would previously not have visited a pharmacy for advice before seeking help elsewhere said they were now more likely to do so.


Maxwellia CEO, Anna Maxwell, says: “This terrible, life-changing pandemic has shown us clearly that we must take better care of our health. A huge part of that is helping people to better manage their own health more easily and conveniently. We know that many GPs are over-stretched with people struggling to make appointments when they need them.​

“We have a fantastic, untapped network of pharmacists who are highly trained clinical experts and are at the heart of most communities across Britain on our high streets. As a pharmacist, I have seen first-hand how important they are for helping people self-care. It is vital more medicines are safely changed from being prescription-only so people can access them following a short consultation with a pharmacist.”


Maxwellia was founded in 2013 and has been purpose-built to develop and commercialise the next generation of consumer healthcare pharmacy brands to provide people with new and better ways to conveniently look after themselves. Its robust pipeline includes numerous medicines across areas of public health with the greatest unmet need. Maxwellia has firmly established a solid sales, logistics and supply chain with industry-leading partners to successfully launch its game-changing new brands into pharmacy.


Increasing public demand, a severe budget crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic have all put the NHS under unprecedented strain. According to NHS England, there are 18 million GP appointments and 2.1 million A&E visits every year for self-treatable conditions, costing the NHS £850million.(2)


Pharmacists have extensive training and expertise but are currently limited to selling treatments for minor ailments including coughs, colds, pain, skin and digestive issues. Giving them greater power to sell what have traditionally been prescription-only medicines is fundamental for helping create a sustainable and future-proof NHS. It will also create a seismic shift from the old-fashioned strategy of symptom management to a focus on prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses.


Anna Maxwell adds: “Healthcare has changed significantly in recent years, including how we can access the medicines we need. It is clear there are numerous medicines which can be safely given to patients by pharmacists. This is absolutely essential in a modern, convenience-led world but I also believe it will help tackle the burden of major public health conditions more effectively and faster, helping relieve the enormous pressure on a precious healthcare system which is has been stretched to almost breaking point.”



For more information, please contact The Difference Collective:

Reena Bajwa: 07956 181688 /

Charlotte Messer: 07928 700277 /


1. PAGB: Coronavirus will change the attitudes to NHS and Self Care Survey Suggests: 20 July 2020 [last accessed 5 February 2021]

2. NHS England: 23 March 2018: [last accessed 5 February 2021]

British Medicine Switching Expert Maxwellia Spearheading Shift to Self Care with Three Pharmacy Products in Launch Pipeline

Notes to Editors:


About Maxwellia

Maxwellia is the first dedicated OTC switching company in the UK and is led by a pioneering multi-disciplinary team with over 100 combined years of experience in the field. Its mission is to widen access to more medicines to enable people to look after themselves better. Maxwellia has the strategic and commercial acumen to re-invigorate familiar drug molecules in a different way, safely repurpose them for Self Care and bring new, much-needed medicines to market. The company offers consultancy and capability services to small and mid-sized pharmaceutical companies in the UK/EU who want to switch their own established prescription medicines, and is also investing in its own switch programmes developing new OTC medicines to tackle future Public Health priorities.

About Anna Maxwell MRPharmS

Anna is a pharmacist and author of Switch Dynamics: A practical approach to switching medicines for Self Care. Having conducted in-depth analysis of over 30 switch projects in the UK and EU, and facilitated over 20, including the ground-breaking EU switch of morning-after pill, ellaOne, Anna has an unparalleled understanding of the critical factors necessary for a successful product launch.

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