Position statement on over the counter supplements

Bariatric surgery is an effective tool for weight loss and managing obesity related co-morbidities resulting in significant health improvements. Procedures such as sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, duodenal switch, one anastomosis gastric bypass impact on absorption of micronutrients which, if left untreated, will result in nutritional deficiencies. It is therefore essential that people have access to vitamin and mineral supplements as treatment.

BOMSS notes NHS England Guidance for CCGs: Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care. Under 4.1.2 Vitamins and minerals, it includes the following under exceptions: “Medically diagnosed deficiency, including for those patients who may have a lifelong or chronic condition or have undergone surgery that results in malabsorption. Continuing need should, however, be reviewed on a regular basis”.

The BOMSS position is that patients undergoing bariatric surgery fall within the exception group and should continue to receive vitamin and mineral supplements as treatment.

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