Contact the media team

General press office number: 020 7572 2272

Out of hours number: 07860 643862

Melissa Dear 
Campaigns and Corporate Communications Manager 
Tel: 020 7572 2653

Elizabeth Gorrie
Corporate Communications and Digital Assistant
Tel: 020 7572 2710

Neal Patel
Head of Corporate Communications 
Tel: 020 7572 2335

Wales Office

Kirsty Luff
Communications Officer
Tel: 029 2073 0315

Scotland Office

Susanne Cameron-Nielsen
Head of External Relations
Tel: 0131 524 2006

Fast facts about medicines

Medicine

Did you know that...

  • Around 1 in 20 prescriptions contain an error?
  • £300m of medicine is wasted each year?
  • More than 1 in 7 British adults admit to buying medicines online because they think they are getting cheaper drugs and faster delivery?
  • Around 50% of medicines purchased from illegal websites over the internet are counterfeit?
  • The NHS spends approximately £8.8 billion on medicines in England every year?
  • In addition the NHS spends around £3.8 billion a year in England on medicines used in hospitals
  • Up to 50% of patients worldwide do not take their prescribed medicines as recommended?
  • Around 4-5% of hospital admissions are due to problems caused by the incorrect use of medicines? This is an estimated cost of £466 million a year to the NHS in England.
  • Finding and developing new medicines takes around 10 to 12 years and it costs around £550 million from its discovery to gaining a licence?
  • Antibiotic resistance is a significant threat to human health?
  • About 440 000 new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) emerge annually, causing at least 150 000 deaths.
  • Generic medicines are as effective as the branded versions, but can cost up to 80% less?
  • Only a quarter of parents know which children medicines contain paracetamol?
  • There are 180,000 people with dementia who are currently prescribed antipsychotics and that two thirds of this prescribing is unnecessary. It is estimated that this excessive use of antipsychotics leads to 1,800 deaths and 1,500 strokes each year.
  • Just 10 days after starting a new medicine one-third of people weren't taking it as intended and two-thirds were experiencing at least one problem with it?

For more facts and figures about pharmacy and pharmacists visit our Royal Pharmaceutical Society museumhistory of pharmacy and iPharmacist, our information centre pages.

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