In the calendar year 2012, 73.5 million of dispensed prescription items, which accounted for 7.3% of the total of 1,000.5 million prescription items dispensed in 2012, were exempt from a charge as a result of medical exemption.
Information on the number of charge-exempt prescriptions in 2013 will be available in July this year.
No reliable information is held centrally on the number of prescription items which were exempt from charges in 2011 or previous years.
This information was provided by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). It should be noted that HSCIC records only one exemption category per prescription item, so that prescriptions for a patient who is, for example, exempt from prescription charges on the grounds of age as well as due to a medical condition would be recorded under one or the other, but not both, of these categories. The information does not record if more than one exemption category applies.