Commenting on the figures published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), ABPI Chief Executive Stephen Whitehead said: “Whilst the number of prescriptions issued in England has topped the one billion mark for the first time, it is worth noting that whilst the number of individual prescriptions rose by 4.6%, the net ingredient cost for medicines per prescription item has fallen year on year since 2004 and this time has fallen by 3.4 per cent, on the previous year."


Stephen added:  

"This demonstrates the excellent value for money that medicines provide to the NHS. In the next three years we expect the NHS to make significant savings to the tune of £3.4bn as the patents on many medicines expire. Coupled with these savings, the UK also has amongst the lowest prices in Europe but there has been a consistent failure in the healthcare system to invest in new medicines, which not only harms patient health but affects companies’ ability to invest in the hugely risky and expensive process of researching and developing medicines.

"The latest medicines bill forecast to 2015, indicates that the cost of branded medicines is firmly under control and flattening, with a rate of annual growth of between 0.5% and 1.8%. This is less than inflation."

Media enquiries

ABPI Press Office
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 1441
Mobile: +44 (0) 7808 641811

Notes to Editor

The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.

Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.

The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.

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