Cost of NHS prescriptions rises by £36m
THE cost of NHS prescriptions in Scotland rose by £36 million in the last year, it was revealed today.
The statistics have raised fears about whether health board can continue to balance their budgets.
The figures show that £1.18 billion was spent on prescriptions in 2011-12 - the vast majority written by GPs.
The number of items prescribed rose to 94.9 million, up 3.8 per cent from 2010-11.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said its analysis found that nine out of 14 health boards overspent on GP prescribing during the financial year 2011-12.
RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said: “This latest increase in prescribing costs, on top of years of growing spend on prescribing, comes at a time when the overall health budget is virtually at a standstill.
“The pressure is mounting on health boards to make increasingly difficult decisions to balance their books while still maintaining quality services that meet growing patient demand.
“That is why we have consistently called for health boards to be more open and honest about what they currently spend their money on and what their plans for the future consist of. Only then will they have a chance of bringing the public, patients and staff with them when they make difficult decisions to change the way health services are provided.”
The SNP administration abolished prescription charges in Scotland last April.
The health budget has been protected in Scotland but public spending watchdog Audit Scotland said annual increases in funding must compete with pressures from pay, fuel and drug prescribing, alongside an ageing population.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West