Q. A doctor has recommended a metatarsal bar to be prescribed on a NHS prescription. Is there a suitable product that is allowed on NHS prescription?

A. No, historically a metatarsal bar was listed in the Tariff in the form of a Scholl Metatarsal Arch support, but this product was discontinued a few years ago. Metatarsal bars/arch supports provide a cushioning and supportive action that can help to ease pain and make walking easier for suffers of metatarsalgia.

Metatarsalgia is the medical term for pain under the ball of the foot. It can be triggered by wearing poorly fitting footwear, being overweight, participating in high impact sports or as a consequence of medical conditions like arthritis, gout or bunions.

Metatarsal supports would be classed as appliances and as such need to be listed in the appliances section of the Drug Tariff, as no suitable product is available or listed in the Drug Tariff it is not possible to satisfy an NHS prescription.

However, the patient may wish to purchase a suitable support or cushion and these are available from a variety of manufacturers:

Product PIP Code
Scholl Party Feet Invisible Gel Cushions  295-8379
Silipos Gel Ball of foot cushions 885-0489

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If you have any questions about the Drug Tariff - send Sue a message or call Information Services on 0800 783 5709