Prescription sales have risen by almost 70% in England over the past decade, according to new data published by the UK Department of Health.
The average number of prescription items per person rose from 11.2 to 17.8 between 2000 and 2010, with the net cost per person rising from £113 (€129) to £169 (€193).
The rise has been attributed to the greater availability of medicines and an ageing population. However, the average cost of each prescription lowered.
“This report shows that, on average, people in England are receiving more prescription items than ten years ago, although the average cost of each prescription item has decreased over the same period,” said Tim Straughan, Chief Executive of the UK National Health Service (NHS) Information Centre.
“Prescribing has a significant impact on people’s lives and, from a financial point of view, is of substantial cost to the NHS, with a net ingredient cost of £8,834 (€10,118) million last year in England.
“Today’s report is important in giving people and the NHS the information needed to help understand prescribing today and patterns over time.”