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Prescription spend increases by 10%


7 July 2015

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The annual prescription spend has increased by 9.6% (by £773 million) to £8.85 billion in 2014, compared to 2004, Health and Social Care Information Centre research revealed.

There was also a 2.6% increase in spending from 2013, and a 55% increase in the number of prescription items since 2004.

The annual prescription spend has increased by 9.6% (by £773 million) to £8.85 billion in 2014, compared to 2004, Health and Social Care Information Centre research revealed.

There was also a 2.6% increase in spending from 2013, and a 55% increase in the number of prescription items since 2004.

More than 1.06 billion items were prescribed in 2014, an increase of 55.2% since 2004 and 3.3% since 2013.

The Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community 2004-2014 report looks at prescriptions dispensed in England by community pharmacists, appliance contractors, dispensing doctors and prescriptions for items administered in GP practices.

However, the report shows that the average net ingredient cost per prescription item dispensed in the community decreased by 29.4% since 2004.

Moreover, of all prescription items dispensed 89.9% (957.1 million), were dispensed free of charge, meaning just 10.1% were paid for.

In terms of age, three of every five prescriptions were for patients aged 60 and over and one in 20 prescriptions were for patients aged under 16 or 16-18 and in full-time education. 

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