NHS Scotland spent 3.7 per cent less on running GP surgeries and providing pharmaceutical services in 2020-21, new health service cost figures for Scotland have revealed.
Expenditure on this area amounted to £2.9 billion (19.5 per cent of total expenditure) during the year which represents a cash terms increase of £67 million (2.4 per cent) but a real terms decrease of 3.7 per cent compared to the previous year.
The Public Health Scotland data release puts the cost of pharmaceutical services at £1.4 billion, a real terms decrease of £85.4 million (5.9 per cent), compared to 2016/17 costs. Within this, drug expenditure accounted for most costs (77.2 per cent) in 2020/21 compared with 81.9% in 2016/17.
Further information on dispenser payments and prescription costs was published in September 2021.