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    Tuesday, 10 July 2018 09:39
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    Wednesday, 04 July 2018 15:22
  • Scotland update Golden Hello arrangements for GPs

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    Friday, 29 June 2018 15:11
  • Extra £20m funding will go hand-in-hand with a new 10-year plan for the NHS

    Extra £20m funding will go hand-in-hand with a new 10-year plan for the NHS

    Monday, 18 June 2018 17:31

prescriptionsSeptember 23 2015

Prescription item numbers in Wales increased 2.9% from 76.27 million to 78.51 million between 2013-14 and 2014-15.

The increase represented a slight increase on the annual number of items per head of population registered with a GP, from 24.00 to 24.74. It also saw a rise in the net ingredient cost, from £569.44 million to £581.42 million, a rise of 2.1%.

Although the overall NIC rose for the second year running, this was lower than the peak annual NIC of £594.33 million in 2010-11. Over the decade between 2004-05 and 2014-15 the increase in total NIC was 0.8%.

NIC per prescription item has continued its decade-long downward trend with the average NIC per item being £7.41 in 2014-15, down from £7.47 the previous year and down from £10.70 in 2004-05. The number of prescription items has increased 46% from 53.9 million to 78.5 million in the same time.

The data set out in ‘Prescriptions by GPs in Wales 20-14-15’, has been published by Statistics for Wales. It points out that:

  • Wales dispensed the highest number of prescription items per head of population – 25.4 compared to 21.6 in Northern Ireland, 19.6 in England and 19.0 in Scotland.
  • Wales had the second lowest NIC per head of population - £188.04 compared to £228.48 in Northern Ireland, £190.29 in Scotland and £162.98 in England.
  • Wales had the lowest NIC per prescription item - £7.41 compared to £8.32 in England, £10.02 in Scotland and £10.60 in Northern Ireland.

The number of prescriptions per head of population registered with a GP in 2014-15 ranged from 15.3 items in Cardiff & Vale to 20.1 in Cwm Taf, with a national average across Wales of 17.8. NIC by local health board averaged £131.90 per head of population for Wales, ranging from £120.70 in Powis to £144.62 in Cwm Taf.

Generic prescribing has seen a very slight increase on the previous year at 83.5% compared to 83-4% seen annually between 2011-12 and 2013-14. However, generic prescribing levels have been higher having peaked at 84.3% in 2008-09.

Cardiovascular drugs accounted for the greatest proportion of prescription items, 23.59 million of the 78.51 million items in 2014-15, followed by central nervous system items with 15.33 million items. The next largest category was gastro-intestinal with 7.05 million items, then respiratory system items with 5.70 million items.

“The large annual increases in cardiovascular drugs seen in the early 2000s were not seen later in the decade; in recent years, increases were only 2% or less each year,” says the report. “Annual percentage increases in the gastro-intestinal system class varied between 4.2% and 7.2% and in the central nervous system class between 2.1% and 5.4%.”

Links:

Welsh Government announcement       

Statistics for Wales ‘Prescriptions by GPs in Wales, 2014-15’        

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