Welsh Conservatives have raised questions over another rise in the number of prescription items dispensed in Wales.
Stats published today show the figure now stands at 76.2 million in 2013 – up by 2.1 per cent and equivalent to 24.8 items per head in Wales.
The net ingredient cost of all prescriptions dispensed in the community has also increased.
Full figures are available here: http://wales.gov.uk/statistics-and-research/prescriptions-dispensed-community/?lang=en
The Welsh Government launched its free prescriptions policy in 2007. At that point, the number of prescription items dispensed stood at 62.1 million.
Welsh Conservatives support a return to the previous system, with all those previously exempt remaining so – along with those suffering chronic illnesses – and a charge for all those who can afford to pay. Money collected would then be re-invested in the health service.
Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, said:
“This further rise is a damning indictment of Welsh Labour’s failure to get a grip on the Welsh public health problem.
“Instead of tackling the deep-rooted causes, Labour continues to plough money into a flawed freebie policy.
“At a time when Labour’s record-breaking NHS budget cuts continue to heap immense pressure on frontline staff – this policy simply isn’t sustainable.
“It effectively allows millionaires to get their paracetamol for free – and all this at a time when cancer patients are denied life-saving drugs on cost grounds. The future of this policy needs to be carefully considered.”