The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) published its annual statistics report Prescription Cost Analysis – England 2022/23, which shows that in 2022/23, 1.18 billion prescription items where dispensing in the community in England at a cost of £10.4 billion. This was an 8% increase from £9.69 billion in 2021/22.
Director of Pharmacy Funding, Mike Dent, said:
“An extra 40m items were dispensed in 2022/23 whilst core pharmacy funding has dropped in real terms. It is unsustainable for pharmacies to continue to absorb this additional workload without a funding increase, especially when it’s set against a backdrop of capacity and workforce pressures.
On top of this, medicines supply and pricing issues are an ongoing battle for our members: they face a constant struggle. In the last in the last 20 years GDP deflator data published by the OBR suggests UK costs / inflation have risen by over 70%, yet between 2002/03 and 2022/23 pharmacy reimbursement data shows the average cost the NHS reimbursed for medicines has decreased by 24%.
The NHS has used the pharmacy sector to squeeze the medicines market to breaking point, making the UK an unattractive market for international pharmaceutical companies to do business, and they are now seeing the backlash in terms of market disruption, shortages and price rises. We have made it clear to Government that our members cannot continue to subsidise the NHS medicines bill and remain in constant discussion with DHSC about improvements to the medicines supply chain and reimbursement systems.”
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