RPS England comments on latest NHS prescribing costs

Tase OputuThe NHS in England has published the latest figures for prescribing costs in primary and secondary care. The total cost to NHS commissioners for the issue of medicines, appliances, and medical devices in 2022/23 is estimated to be £19.2 billion without central rebates, an increase of 7.99% from £17.8 billion in 2021/22.

Tase Oputu, Chair of RPS England Pharmacy Board said:

“Medicines are a fundamental part of our health service, saving and enhancing the lives of millions of people every year.

“These figures highlight more than ever the vital role of pharmacists in medicines optimisation, reducing overprescribing and cutting medicines waste.

“At the same time, pharmacy teams must also be enabled to continue supporting the best use of medicines for patients and not feel pressured into focusing solely on cutting costs.

“The Government and NHS must ensure that local pharmacy leaders have the time and support to develop pharmacy services, working with colleagues across the system. The latest CQC State of Care report showed that this needs additional resource and shouldn’t be an afterthought.

“Investing in pharmacy services can deliver both better outcomes for patients and better value for taxpayers.”

Help inform our work on repeat prescribing

The National Overprescribing Review made 20 cross-system recommendations to address overprescribing in England.

The Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society have been commissioned by NHS England to develop a national toolkit to improve the consistency of repeat prescribing processes.

Ahead of its launch in 2024, the project team are now calling for examples of best practice. Please submit your examples online and the team will be in touch.

Visit our Prescribing pages.

Help us build our Repeat Prescribing Toolkit

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