HC Deb 06 February 1968 vol 758 cc64-5W
53. Mr. Rankin

asked the Minister of Health what controls exist for regulating the cost of prescriptions; and in what way are they exercised by his department in respect of the general practitioner.

Mr. K. Robinson

Factual material is sent to doctors to help them to prescribe efficiently, and each general practitioner is periodically sent comparative analyses of his prescribing, which may be discussed with him by one of my Regional Medical Officers. Remuneration may be withheld where there are continued excessive prescribing costs; but such cases are rare.

Mr. Bishop

asked the Minister of Health if he will give the total number of prescriptions dispensed each year from 1962 to date with the total cost in each year; and what is the estimated figure to 1970–71.

Mr. K. Robinson

The number and cost of prescriptions dispensed by chemists in England and Wales is as follows:

Number of Prescriptions Millions Total Cost£ million
1962 196.626 86.918
1963 205.462 95.934
1964 209.375 105.577
1965 244.346 126.004
1966 261.954 138.369
1967 (estimated) 271 146.3

It is not possibe at this date to give a reliable estimate to 1970–71.

Mr Gwynfor Evans

asked the Minister of Health (1) if he will give an estimate of the revenue which will accrue in Wales from the proposed imposition of prescription charges;

(2) if he will give an estimate of the number of persons in Wales who will be affected by the proposed prescription charges; and what proportion these form of the whole population.

Mr. Snow

The Welsh component of the estimated saving of£25 million a year in Great Britain is about £1¾million. When the criteria for exemption from the charges have been fully worked out, I should expect upwards of 40 per cent. of the population to be exempt: and of those who pay the charge some will qualify for a refund.