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Nhs Prescriptions (Fraud)

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of fraud in relation to NHS prescribing and NHS prescription charges in the last 12 months. [110177]

The National Health Service Counter Fraud and Security Management Service (NHS CFSMS) has an on-going programme of highly accurate risk measurement exercises (accurate to plus or minus one per cent.) designed to reveal levels of losses and, through repeated exercises, reduction in such losses. Phase one of these exercises included patient prescription charge evasion fraud. The information is shown in the table.

Pharmaceutical patient fraud
£ million
Year data selectedFraud losses
A statistically valid sample of those prescriptions prescribed during March 2003 is being taken for a further measurement exercise to be conducted. Further fraud reductions are anticipated and the figures will be produced later this year.Phase two of the programme will focus on contractor fraud within the NHS. As the measurement programme extends, it will enable NHS CFSMS to accurately assess the totality of NHS fraud.