HC Deb 13 February 1985 vol 73 cc180-1W
Rev. Martin Smyth

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the increase in the number of prescriptions issued for all drugs in Northern Ireland in the last 10 years; how much of that increase is attributable to prescriptions for tonics, cough remedies, antacids, laxatives, minor analgesics and vitamins; and what saving is expected to accrue from controlling the issue of prescriptions for such drugs, as outlined in the Government's proposals.

Mr. Chris Patten

The available information is as follows:

Prescriptions issued by General Practitioners (Prescribing Doctors)
1976 1983 Change
All Drugs 11,496 13,152 +1,656
Tonics 57 50 -7
Cough Remedies 879 860 -19
Antacids 293 296 +3
Laxatives 181 254 +73
Minor Analgesics 709 843 +134
Thousands vitamins 280 342 +62

Rev. Martin Smyth

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many prescriptions for benzodiazepine tranquillisers and sedatives were issued in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years by (a) general practitioners, (b) hospital doctors, (c) appliance contractors and (d) dispensing doctors in the National Health Service; if he will publish this information in the Official Report tabulated for each health board area; and what is their aggregate net ingredient cost and their total cost, including discount on costs and payments to pharmacists.

Mr. Chris Patten

The information is available only in respect of those prescriptions issued by general practitioners for sedatives and tranquillisers and this is as follows, together with details of the net ingredient costs of this group of drugs:

Year Number of prescriptions (000) Net ingredient cost (£000)
1979 793 799
1980 749 863
1981 758 1,002
1982 749 1,099
1983 697 1,079

It is estimated that the net ingredient cost comprises approximately 77 per cent. of the total cost.

The information on a health and social services board basis is not readily available.