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Cost of prescriptions in Scotland rose 25% in a decade

What is driving rising prescription costs in Scotland?


Prescription costs in Scotland have risen to £1.3bn, up 3.3% on 2016/17 and up 25.7% over the past 10 years.


Figures published this week by ISD Scotland show a 20.8% increase in items prescribed in the past decade, taking it to 103.4m; there was little change in number of items in the past year.


The cost of medicines (gross ingredient cost) rose by 2.7% between 2016/17 and 2017/18, largely due to price increases for medicines in short supply, new medicines, and the move of supply of some medicines from secondary to primary care.


Pregabalin, used to treat epilepsy and chronic pain, had the highest gross ingredient cost last year at £36.38m.


The figures cover items dispensed in the community, not in hospital.


Further information

ISD Scotland: Prescribing & medicines: dispenser payments and prescription cost analysis