Prescriptions: Now it’s 25 items per head

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:


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.”