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More inWhite Papers  

a scottish flag image cbAugust 31 2017

Annual data indicates the net cost for dispensing items and providing services in Scotland was £1.3 billion in 2016-17, a 2.3% increase on the previous year. Prescription item numbers increased 1.2% to 103.4 million items year on year.

 The cost for remuneration of services increased by £0.6 million (0.3%) from £213.4 million in 2015-16 to £214.0 million in 2016-17. Overall, the reimbursement cost of items has increased by 28.4% over the last 10 years, says Information Services Division for NHS Scotland.

The figures are published in the latest annual ‘Prescribing Statistics - Dispenser Payments and Prescription Cost Analysis Report’. It flags up that:

  • the Gross Ingredient Cost for dispensed items increased by 2.9% between 2015-16 and 2016-17, to £1.1 billion
  • the average cost per item increased from £10.79 to £10.98 between 2015-16 and 2016-17
  • pregabalin had the highest total GIC at £40.74 million in 2016/17
  • omeprazole was the most commonly prescribed drug with 3.6 million dispensed items.

“Of the gross cost, 83.6% (£1.1 billion) is attributed to cost of items (Net Ingredient Cost -NIC) and 16.4% (£214 million) is attributed to remuneration of service This is a slight increase in the proportion spent on cost of items (NIC) compared to 2015-16 (83.2%). The amount spent on remuneration of services rose by 0.3% between 2015-16 and 2016-17, while cost of items (NIC) increased by 3.0%,” says the report

It notes that there has been a trend in moving treatment regimes from hospital settings to primary care. “Some of these medicines have a high cost per item which contributes to an increase in the overall NIC reimbursed to dispensing contractors in recent financial years. Other factors, such as price adjustments for some items due to market conditions such as short supply and the adoption of novel agents such as Direct Acting Oral Anticoagulants (DOACs), also contribute to the observed increase in cost per item.”

Links:
ISD Scotland ‘Prescribing Statistics - Dispenser Payments and Prescription Cost Analysis Report’ files          
ISD Scotland ‘Prescribing & Medicines: Dispenser Payments and Prescription Cost Analysis’ publication summary                  

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