HC Deb 01 November 1988 vol 139 cc595-6W
Mr. Hood

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give details of the cost in 1987–88 to the National Health Service for(a) antibiotics and (b) antidepressants; and if he will give in percentage terms such cost in relation to the annual Health Service budget.

Mr. Mellor

Antibiotics are generally regarded as forming part of the therapeutic group covering preparations acting systematically on infections, but costs cannot be identified specifically within the group. The net ingredient cost of drugs in that therapeutic group dispensed by pharmacists (through the family practitioner services in England) in 1987–88 was £149.3 million, and for anti-depressants £29.2 million. As percentages of expenditure on the family practitioner services, these costs were 3.89 and 0.76 respectively; as percentages of the cost of the whole of National Health Service in England they were 0.90 and 0.18 respectively.

Information is not collected by therapeutic group as to the cost of drugs supplied in hospitals or by dispensing doctors.