§ Mr. Trotter
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of prescriptions was written generically in 1991; what percentage was dispensed generically; what percentage of the total drug bill related to generic items; and whether she can give an estimate of the figures expected to apply in the current year.
§ Dr. Mawhinney
In 1991, 41 per cent. of all prescriptions were written generically and 35.2 per cent. were dispensed generically. Information on the percentage of the total drug bill which relates to generic items is not available. However, 26.6 per cent. of the basic cost of drugs (that is, the net ingredient cost, excluding remuneration for dispensing, VAT, container costs and discounts) related to items written generically and 13.9 per cent. of the net ingredient cost related to items dispensed generically.
In the first quarter of 1992 generic prescribing increased to 43.2 per cent.