The price of medicines is a key issue for the Government, with the National Health Service (NHS) expecting to see an increase in the number of prescription medicines purchased in coming years.
Key points:NHS said that by 2030, prescription drugs will be more expensive than in 2016The National Drug Strategy has outlined what it expects to happen over the next decadeSource: News.au article The NHS says it expects prescription drugs to become more expensive over the coming decade, with prices increasing by 20 per cent by 2030 compared to 2016.
“The NHS expects to see the number and type of prescription medications prescribed by patients to increase significantly over the decade,” it said in a statement.
“It is anticipated that the number will reach over 4 million by 2020, a number that will continue to rise over the course of the decade.”
What are prescription drugs?NHS chief executive officer, Dr Peter Kellner, said the drugs prescribed in the NHS today were “very different” from what people used a decade ago.
“In the past, many drugs were not available in the market, or even accessible at all,” Dr Kellner said.
“Many of the drugs we use today have not been developed and therefore, have not reached the level of medical knowledge we need to use them to help our patients.”
These drugs are increasingly expensive because they are not developed or available to patients.
“Dr Kellner described prescription drugs as the “last resort”, saying patients would use the drugs as a last resort if they had not been prescribed the appropriate medication.”
Prescription drugs are a last-resort option for many patients,” Dr Collins said.”[In the UK] the National Pharmaceutical Plan covers more than half of all patients and the cost of prescription drugs is almost entirely borne by taxpayers.
“He said that despite a “relatively low” number of prescriptions being filled, prescription drug costs were growing because people were seeking to improve their lives by avoiding unnecessary medication.
Dr Collins said the government was investing heavily in drugs to help people improve their wellbeing, including increasing funding for clinical trials and the development of new treatments.
The NHS also outlined a range of measures it plans to implement over the year to address the rising cost of medicine.
The first of these is to ensure the government is using the savings from the Budget to ensure more people have access to affordable medication.
The second is to make the medicines prescription free, which is expected to save the Government $50 million over the forecast period.
The third is to introduce a new national register of drugs, which will help to identify medicines and companies who are doing the best job of tackling the problem of over-prescribing of drugs.”
Our national prescription plan will help us tackle the high cost of drugs and drugs related illness, with new drugs in the National Pharmacopoeia, and more money for clinical trial research,” Dr Gillian Macdonald, the Minister for Health and Human Services, said.