Prescriptions issued in Wales rises to 72.7 million

Chemist England is currently the only UK country where prescriptions are not free

Related Stories

The number of free prescriptions dispensed in Wales has risen for the 11th year in a row, figures show.

A Welsh government report says more than 2.5 million more prescriptions were issued in Wales in 2011 - taking the number up to 72.7 million.

Free prescriptions were introduced in Wales in 2007.

However, the overall cost of Wales' free prescription policy was £587.2m - that is down by more than £7m the year before.

As well as supporters, there have been critics of the policy who say it is "unsustainable" in the face of the year-on-year rise.

The report shows last year Wales dispensed 24 prescriptions per head - more than any other region in the UK.

England - the only country still charging for prescriptions - dispensed 18.4, Scotland had 18.3 and 20.2 in Northern Ireland.

Free prescriptions were introduced in Northern Ireland in 2010 and Scotland followed in 2011.

Prescriptions in England increased by 25p earlier this year and currently cost to £7.65.

The increase means that in the last decade the number of prescriptions dispensed in Wales is up by 57.9%, a rise of 26.7 million items.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Wales stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.