Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances

The Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (ACBS) is responsible for advising on the prescribing of foodstuffs and toiletries.

Role of group

To advise on the prescribing of certain foodstuffs and toiletries.

Borderline substances are mainly foodstuffs, such as enteral feeds and foods that are specially formulated for people with medical conditions, but also include some toiletries, such as sun blocks for use by people with conditions such as photodermatosis.


  • Dr Pamela Mason, Chair (Pharmacist and Consultant Nutritionist)
  • Dr James R Courtney (General Practitioner)
  • Dr Andrea Hilton (Pharmacist)
  • Professor Stephen Jackson (Professor of Clinical Gerontology)
  • Ms Una Cuthbert (Prescribing Support Dietitian)
  • Ms Vanessa Shaw (Head of Dietetics)
  • Ms Clare Soulsby (Principal Dietitian)
  • Ms Vera Todorovic (Consultant Dietitian in Clinical Nutrition)
  • Dr Ian R White (Consultant Dermatologist)
  • Mr Richard Wilson (Director of Nutrition and Dietetics)


  • 22 March 2016 (closing date for submissions: 26 January 2016)
  • 19 July 2016 (closing date for submissions: 24 May 2016)
  • 15 November 2016 (closing date for submissions: 20 September 2016)

Terms of reference

The ACBS has 2 distinct functions:

  • to advise GPs when they can prescribe non-medicinal products such as foods which are specially formulated for use by people with medical conditions. ACBS advice takes the form of its ‘recommended list’ which is published as Part XV of the Drug Tariff. The information is also available in the British National Formulary (BNF).

  • to advise Ministers on the addition of particular foods to Schedule 1 to the National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) (Prescription of Drugs etc) Regulations 2004, the effect of which is to prohibit their prescribing by GPs on the NHS.

How to submit an application for ACBS approval

Guidance and application form for submitting an application for ACBC approval

ACBS secretariat

Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances
Department of Health
Commercial Medicines Unit
2nd Floor
Rutland House

Contact details