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Drug cash “funding other services”


Welsh patients are being denied the most effective medicines because money saved from the prescribing budgets of local health boards (LHBs) is being diverted to pay for other services, it has been claimed.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Cymru said health boards in South Wales had managed to make savings of more than £11.5m in just two years.

It has been argued that LHBs were able to save this much by purchasing cheaper and older non-branded medicines.

Jenny Randerson, the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ Cardiff Central AM, told the South Wales Echo: “If they spent up to how much they should be spending, we would have fewer cases of people being denied the best, most effective modern drugs.

“It has long been a feature in Wales that the number of prescriptions per head in Wales is higher than England but the average cost is much lower, which suggests we are getting the older drugs, which are often less effective.”

But a spokesman for Cardiff LHB defended the savings saying that by successfully managing drug prescribing costs, LHBs have been able to use the money saved to fund some higher cost drugs.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

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