Medicines cost

It was with great interest that I read Harry McQuillan of Community Pharmacy Scotland’s article on Tuesday (“Cost can’t be deciding factor on prescriptions”, Friends of The Scotsman, 22 July).

His article, with which we concur, makes the argument that our spending on medicines is actually an investment in the health of Scottish patients, and shouldn’t be seen simply as a cost to be borne down upon.

Under the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS), a voluntary agreement between the UK Department of Health and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) regarding the supply of branded medicines to the NHS across the four nations, the British pharmaceutical industry will make payments of up to £800 million this year back to the UK Government.

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Scotland’s share of this money, which is paid to the Scottish Government by the UK Department of Health, further highlights the contribution being made by the pharmaceutical industry to patients here in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has allocated this money to pay for the New Medicines Fund which represents a great opportunity for patients to get access to the latest and best medicines.

Sandra Auld

Director for Scotland

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical 

Crichton’s Close