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Health written question – answered on 12th July 2010.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Conservative, Witham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) if he will consider the merits of making warfarin treatments available free on the NHS; and if he will make a statement;

(2) how many people were prescribed warfarin in the most recent 12 months for which figures are available;

(3) what estimate he has made of the annual cost to the public purse of providing warfarin free on the NHS.

Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns The Minister of State, Department of Health

Information on the number of people receiving a medicine is not collected centrally. In 2009, around 8,234,900 prescription items for warfarin were dispensed in the community in England at a net ingredient cost to the national health service of around £18,608,200.(1)

In addition, prescription charges paid at the point of dispensing for warfarin prescription items generated income of around £923,800(2) in 2009.

Any decisions on future changes to the system of prescription charges and exemptions will be dependent on our future financial settlements.

(1) Prescription Cost Analysis system.

(2) NHS Prescription Services Information System. Excludes items dispensed to patients holding a pre-payment certificate.

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