Prescription Drugs: Prices

Department of Health written question – answered on 12th December 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Shadow Minister (Wales)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, which prescription drugs had the highest increase in price to the NHS in the last 10 years for which data is available.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

An error has been identified in the written answer given on 03 November 2017.

The correct answer should have been:

The table below shows the top five individual medicines and chemicals that have shown the highest increase in cost price over the last 10 years for Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) per prescription item and NIC per quantity. Prescription medicines/chemicals have only been included where there was prescribing in both 2006 and 2016.

For any medicine listed, it does not necessarily mean that the price has increased. For example, the cost per prescription item will be higher if the quantity being prescribed per prescription item has increased.

This is based on Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) data. PCA data is based on analysis of all prescriptions dispensed in the community i.e. by community pharmacists and appliance contractors, dispensing doctors, and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items personally administered in England. PCA data do not cover drugs dispensed in hospitals, including mental health trusts, or private prescriptions.

Costs vary over time due to numerous factors including medicines going off patent and becoming available generically, unlicensed medicines becoming licensed medicines, shortages, the level of competition for generic medicines, as well as centrally agreed pricing schemes such as the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme.

The Department is working closely with the Competition and Markets Authority on a number of investigations into unwarranted price rises of unbranded generic medicines. Where companies have breached competition law, we will seek damages and invest that money back into the National Health Service.

The top five medicines with the highest increase in Net Ingredient1 Cost per prescription item2

Drug Name

2006

2016

Increase

Orfadin_Cap 10mg

£5,436.74

£20,030.86

£14,594.12

Cerezyme_I/V Inf 400u Vl (Dry)

£18,143.17

£30,397.85

£12,254.68

Chenodeoxycholic Acid_Cap 250mg

£88.57

£9,580.10

£9,491.54

Trientine Dihydroch_Cap 300mg (Old)

£218.58

£5,488.22

£5,269.64

Sod Benz_Liq Spec 400mg/5ml

£361.95

£4,352.92

£3,990.96

Source: Prescription Cost Analysis

Notes:

1NIC is the basic cost of a drug. It does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income, so the amount the NHS spent will be slightly different.

2Prescriptions are written on a prescription form known as an FP10. Each single item written on the form is counted as a prescription item.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes2 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The table below shows the top five individual medicines and chemicals that have shown the highest increase in cost price over the last 10 years for Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) per prescription item and NIC per quantity. Prescription medicines/chemicals have only been included where there was prescribing in both 2006 and 2016.

For any medicine listed, it does not necessarily mean that the price has increased. For example, the cost per prescription item will be higher if the quantity being prescribed per prescription item has increased.

This is based on Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) data. PCA data is based on analysis of all prescriptions dispensed in the community i.e. by community pharmacists and appliance contractors, dispensing doctors, and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items personally administered in England. PCA data do not cover drugs dispensed in hospitals, including mental health trusts, or private prescriptions.

Costs vary over time due to numerous factors including medicines going off patent and becoming available generically, unlicensed medicines becoming licensed medicines, shortages, the level of competition for generic medicines, as well as centrally agreed pricing schemes such as the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme.

The Department is working closely with the Competition and Markets Authority on a number of investigations into unwarranted price rises of unbranded generic medicines. Where companies have breached competition law, we will seek damages and invest that money back into the National Health Service.

The top five medicines with the highest increase in Net Ingredient1 Cost per prescription item2

Drug Name

2006

2016

Increase

Orfadin_Cap 10mg

£5,436.74

£20,030.86

£14,594.12

Cerezyme_I/V Inf 400u Vl (Dry)

£18,143.17

£30,397.85

£12,254.68

Chenodeoxycholic Acid_Cap 250mg

£88.57

£9,580.10

£9,491.54

Trientine Dihydroch_Cap 300mg (Old)

£218.58

£5,488.22

£5,269.64

Sod Benz_Liq Spec 400mg/5ml

£361.95

£4,352.92

£3,990.96

Source: Prescription Cost Analysis

Notes:

1NIC is the basic cost of a drug. It does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income, so the amount the NHS spent will be slightly different.

2Prescriptions are written on a prescription form known as an FP10. Each single item written on the form is counted as a prescription item.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.