Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Hospital pharmacy

Cost of medicines in hospitals increased by 11% in 2017/2018

NHS Digital has reported that there has been a £900m increased spend on hospital prescribing owing to “greater use of specialist medicines”. 

Hospital pharmacy shelves

Source: Shutterstock.com

NHS Digital report has found the cost of list price hospital pharmacy drugs has increased by almost 11%, while spend on medicines in primary care has decreased

The cost of medicines prescribed in hospitals has increased by nearly 11% over the past year, according to NHS data.

The statistics from NHS Digital revealed that in 2017/2018, the cost at list price reached £9.2bn for hospital pharmacies — a 10.8% increase compared with the previous year.

This is the largest annual cost to the NHS since measurements began in 2010/2011, when hospital pharmacies paid £4.2bn.

However, the rate of increase has slowed in recent years, with the growth of costs between 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 the third lowest since 2010/2011.

In a report on the data, NHS Digital said that the increased cost of hospital pharmacy results from the use of “new and innovative medicines, as well as the greater use of specialist medicines”.

Meanwhile, the cost of medicines in primary care has fallen by 1% for the second year in a row, from £8.96bn in 2016/2017 to £8.87bn in 2017/2018.

The data, which were first published on 15 November 2018 and updated on 30 November 2018, also revealed that adalimumab had the highest cost to hospital pharmacies in 2017/2018 at £494.5m.

However, NHS England announced on 26 November 2018 that it was expecting to save £300m from the patent expiry of adalimumab when biosimilar versions of the drug become available in December 2018.

The report also explained that the “cost at list price is the basic cost of a drug excluding VAT and is not necessarily the price the NHS paid” as it “does not take account of any contract prices or discounts”, which are commercially confidential.

However, the report added: “A comparison between the costs taken from the [Hospital Pharmacy Audit Index] database and the returns to the Department of Health from trusts suggests that the total costs are similar, although costs may be different for individual medicines.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205840

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Patient Care in Community Practice

    Patient Care in Community Practice

    Patient Care in Community Practice is a unique, practical guide for healthcare professionals or carers. Covers a range of non-medicinal products suitable for use at home.

    £22.00Buy now
  • Pharmacy OSCEs

    Pharmacy OSCEs

    The only pharmacy-specific OSCE revision guide. This easy-to-use book covers the key competencies that will be tested in your exams.

    £25.00Buy now
  • Drugs and the Liver

    Drugs and the Liver

    Drugs and the Liver assists practitioners in making pragmatic choices for their patients. It enables you to assess liver function and covers the principles of drug use in liver disease.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Physicochemical Principles of Pharmacy

    Physicochemical Principles of Pharmacy

    This established textbook covers every aspect of drug properties from the design of dosage forms to their delivery by all routes to sites of action in the body.

    £48.00Buy now
  • Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics covers all aspects of drug use in renal failure. Shows the role of the pharmacist in patient care for chronic kidney disease.

    £38.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Hospital pharmacy shelves

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.