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£9m cut in prescription spending


The amount of money patients spent on their prescriptions has fallen by about £9 million a year following a drop in charges, new figures from health bodies have revealed.

Following the price change from £5 to £4 last April, there was an overall decrease in charges of about £21 million in Scotland.

The news came as the NHS issued figures relating to help in quitting smoking, treatment for obesity and covering prescriptions.

There was a 4% rise in the number of items dispensed in the first nine months of 2009-10 compared to the same time in the previous year, with a total of 66 million prescriptions issued.

Items dispensed where the patient held a valid pre-payment certificate increased by 12% to four million over the same period.

The price of single-item prescriptions is due to drop to £3 from April.

Prescriptions for obesity treatment increased from more than 110,00 to 113,000 between 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Items for the treatment of rheumatic disease and gout rose from 2.45 million to 2.53 million, an increase of 3.2%.

The number of items of treatment to help people stop smoking increased by almost a third to 394,420.

Copyright Press Association 2010


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