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Nhs (Prescriptions)

Volume 35: debated on Monday 17 January 1983

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many prescriptions were prescribed under the National Health Service in 1982; what was the total cost; how many prescriptions were exempted from payment; what was the cost of the exemption; and what percentage both of numbers and costs the exemptions constituted.

Statistics are produced routinely for numbers of legal abortions by country of usual residence and age of woman and these figures for Northern Ireland residents, 1970 to 1980, are given as follows. The remainder of the requested information is not readily available and could only be produced at disproportionate cost.

Figures (England only) for 1982 are only available for the period January-September (inclusive):

All prescriptions (millions)Exempt prescriptions (millions)Per cent.
Number of prescriptions231·1159·869
Basic drug cost£716·6£475·966
Total cost*£867·4n.a.n.a.
* n.a. = not available including cost of containers, payments to pharmacists, etc.
The additional revenue if the standard prescription charge had been collected on each exempt prescription would have been £190 million; the total cost of the exemption is somewhat less as an unknown proportion of the prescriptions would have been covered by the "season ticket" arrangements if they had not been exempt.