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Shortages push NIC up 3.7pc in Scotland

Prescribing volumes down

September 13th 2018

Tagged: NHS statistical reports Scotland

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Net ingredient costs in Scotland have risen 3.7 per cent since 2016-17, due to price increases for items in short supply, new medicines and the move in supply of some high cost treatments from hospital to primary care, according to NHS Scotland prescribing data for 2017-18.

The report  notes that pregabalin, used to treat epilepsy and chronic pain, had the highest total gross ingredient cost in 2017-18.

The total (net) cost for dispensing items and providing services in 2017-18 was £1.3 billion, an increase of 3.3 per cent compared to 2016-17 and 25.7 per cent over the last 10 years.  Service remuneration paid to dispensing practices and to community pharmacies is detailed below.

NHS Scotland notes a marginal decline in prescribing volumes during the past year. Between 2016-17 and 2017-18 the volume decreased by 0.1 per cent compared to an increase of 1.2 per cent between 2015-16 and 2016-17.

View the 2017-18 spreadsheet

View the 2016-17 spreadsheet

Fee payment categoryDispensing doctors (£m)
% +/- (£m)
Community pharmacies  (£m)
% +/- (£m)
Items2.52-0.7 100.57 -0.04
Gross Ingred Cost19.121.591,126.95 2.66
Net Ingred Cost18.411.61,092.943.75
Gross total23.541.41,296.75  3.1