Prescriptions dispensed in England rose by 5.8% in 2008, while costs fell by 0.6%, according to figures from the NHS Information Centre released in July 2009.
In 2008, a total of 842.5 million prescriptions were dispensed, a rise of 5.8% over 2007, while the net ingredient cost of all prescriptions decreased by 0.6% to £8,325.5 million. Over the same period, the average net ingredient cost per prescription item fell by 6.0% to £9.88.
The leading BNF Chapter in terms of volume was the cardiovascular system, and in terms of cost was the central nervous system. The leading BNF Section in terms of prescription items dispensed was hypertension and heart failure and in terms of cost was drugs used in diabetes.
A total of 65.0% of prescription items were dispensed generically in 2008, representing 26.2% of the total cost.
Further reading - An in-depth analysis of the UK pharmaceutical market, including data on prescriptions dispensed, is available from Espicom: The Pharmaceutical Market: United Kingdom (published June 2009)