§ 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.