HC Deb 17 March 1993 vol 221 c304W
Mrs. Lait

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much of the increase in the drugs bill for 1992–93 relative to 1991–92 is due to(a) increased costs charged by the drugs companies, (b) increases in the numbers of prescriptions, (c) general practitioners prescribing different and more expensive drugs, (d) the cost of diphasics and triphasic drugs in fees paid to pharmacists or (e) drugs being used to replace surgery.

Dr. Mawhinney

Expenditure on drugs by the family health services in England is expected to increase by about 14 per cent. in cash terms in 1992–93. Whilst prescription numbers are likely to increase by more than 4 per cent. in 1992–93, no information is yet available on the other factors which contribute to the rise in the drugs bill.

The cost of pharmacists' dispensing fees does not form part of the drugs bill. Information on drugs being used to replace surgery is not available centrally.