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Items dispensed by pharmacies up but pharmacies are closing

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Items dispensed by pharmacies up but pharmacies are closing

The number of items dispensed by community pharmacies and appliance contractors in England increased between 2021 and 2022 although pharmacies continue to close their doors, according to figures published by the NHS Business Services Authority.

A report covering general pharmaceutical services from 2015-16 to 2021-22 revealed 1.05 billion prescription items were dispensed by pharmacies, a 2.65 per cent rise over a 12-month period.

NHSBSA also said one billion prescription items were dispensed through the electronic prescription service in 2021-22, equating to 95.3 per cent of all dispensed items “and an increase of 1.35 percentage points from 2020-21".

The cost of drugs and appliances reimbursed to pharmacies and appliance contractors came to £9.05bn in 2021-22, a 0.83 per cent rise on the previous year.

In 2021-22, 308 pharmacies opened and 418 closed while the number of active appliance contractors dropped to 111, its lowest number since 2015-16. There were 11,500 active community pharmacies.

The number of flu vaccines administered by pharmacies increased from 2.77 million in 2020-21 to 4.85 million in 2021-22 – a 75.1 per cent increase.

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