Annual cost of prescriptions dispensed in the community increases by 4.7%
April 13 2016
Prescriptions dispensed in the community cost £9.27 billion in 2015, a 4.68% increase on the £8.85 billion cost in 2014.
The percentage increase in cost outpaced the increase in prescription numbers, up 1.79% from 1.06 billion in 2014 to 1.08 billion in 2015.
The prescription cost analysis for England for 2015 published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre provides details of the number of items and the net ingredient cost of all prescriptions dispensed in the community in England.
The most commonly prescribed drug was simvastatin with 34.4 million items, followed by omeprazole (30.1 million items), levothyroxine sodium (29.7 million), aspirin (28.0 million) atorvastatin (27.2 million), ramipril (26.7 million), amlodipine (25.4 million), lansoprazole (22.9 million), paracetamol (22.9 million) and salbutamol (21.9 million).
In terms of the most expensive net ingredient cost (NIC) per drug, fluticasone proprionate inhalers had NIC of £376.0 million for 7.8 million items, followed by pregabalin at £283.0 million for 4.8 million items, enteral nutrion at £266.7 million for 5.3 million items, budesonide at £197.0 million for 4.3 million items, and tiotropium at £194.1 million for 4.9 million items.
Among the top 20 most commonly prescribed items, metformin hydrochloride had the highest NIC cost, at £120.4 million for 19.8 million items, followed by levothyroxine at £104.5 million, co-codamol at £97.5 million for 15.7 million items and colecalciferol at £90.6 million for 19.9 million items
Glucose blood testing reagents had the highest NIC for non-medicines at £180.3 million for 6.8 million items.
“Further analysis of the PCA and Dental data will be published later in the year in the Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community publication,” said HSCIC.