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Prescription items dispensed in England hit 1.18 billion in 2022-23

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Prescription items dispensed in England hit 1.18 billion in 2022-23

Figures released today reveal 1.18 billion prescription items were dispensed in the community in England at a cost of £10.4 billion in 2022-23 – an eight per cent increase from £9.69 billion in 2021-22.

A report by NHS Business Services Authority said the cost of items dispensed increased for the fourth year in a row having dropped from 2015-16 to 2018-19.

The 1.18 billion items dispensed compares with 1.14 billion items in 2021-22. There was also a three per cent increase in the number of drugs and medical devices including blood glucose monitors dispensed.

Atorvastatin was the most dispensed drug in 2022-23 with 59 million items, followed by Omeprazole (35,600,000 items) and Amlodipine (35,000,000 items). The anticoagulant Apixaban produced the highest costs with £430 million. Apixaban 5mg tablets had the largest rise in cost since 2021-22, producing “an absolute increase” of £280 million.

Generic items made up 85 per cent of the total items prescribed in 2022-23 and generic prescribing accounted for 62 per cent of costs during that period.

The mean number of items dispensed per capita in England was 21 and NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board had the highest dispensed items per capita with 29. NHS Surrey Heartlands ICB had the lowest with 13.

England had the lowest prescription item cost per head of population in 2021-22 with £171 - £76 less than Northern Ireland, £42 less than Scotland and £30 less than Wales.

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