An analysis of general practice prescriptions from England and Wales has found that the total cost to the NHS rose from £8.91bn in 2013 to £9.16bn in 2014.
This 2.9% increase, which far exceeded the 2014 inflation of 0.5%, is set out in a new report: ‘General Practice Prescribing Trends in England & Wales, 2014 Annual Review.’
The report also highlights that here were large regional variations in the cost of prescription per registered patient. The highest cost per registered patient in 2014 was observed in Wales (£183.24 per registered patient) while the lowest cost per registered patient was observed in London (£111.19 per registered patient).
In terms of drug categories, the highest total cost associated with general practice prescriptions was for diabetes drugs, respiratory corticosteroids, analgesics, antiepileptics and oral nutrition products, in descending order. Together, these five drug categories accounted for just over one third of the total NIC associated with all English and Welsh general practice prescriptions in 2014.
The branded pharmaceuticals with the highest total cost associated their prescriptions in 2014 were Seretide, Symbicort and NovoRapid, in descending order. Conversely, the greatest number of prescriptions was issued for Ventolin, Adcal D3 and Clenil Modulite.
The analysis was carried out by the media and marketing services company Cogora.