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Scotland prescription costs soar by more than £400m

30 September 2009

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Prescriptions are costing the NHS in Scotland £1.07bn each year – up from just £598m a decade ago.

The figures, published by the statistical service ISD Scotland, showed the total equated to £196.20 for every person registered with a GP and reflected a 4.3% growth in the volume of prescriptions issued in the last year to 85.5 million items.

An average person was prescribed 15 items a year, an increase from 11 in a decade, while the number of medicines dispensed with a single prescription charge fell from 1.4 million to 1.2 million.

The news comes as the government plans to phase out prescription charges in Scotland – a move opposition politicians say favours the rich.

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Ross Finnie MSP said: “The drugs budget continues to rise but the SNP is still determined to give free prescriptions to the rich. When money is tight, people will question a government that spends precious resources on policies that help well-off people in Scotland but do nothing to help the poorest.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Scottish Government