The number of prescription drugs that can be taken before Christmas has doubled to 7,000 from 5,000 in 2015, according to figures released by the Drug Manufacturers Association (DMA).
The DMA said the number of prescriptions had increased by about 15 per cent from the previous year.
The data shows that over the past 12 months, the number prescription drug users have taken has increased from 1,300,000 to 1,475,000.
The number taken for cancer treatment has also increased, from 875,000 over the same period to 1.9 million.
The DSA said this increase is mainly due to the rise in cancer cases that have come from increased use of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
It said it expected the number to reach about 2.2 million in 2021, which would be more than double the current level of 2.1 million.
“We are pleased that the number prescribed for cancer has doubled, as has the number taken to treat cancer.
But we know that it is far from certain that all of these new prescriptions will be filled by Christmas,” said Peter Collinson, president of the DMA.
Mr Collinson said the increase in prescriptions for cancer had been driven by a surge in people in the early stages of the disease, who were reluctant to wait to take their first dose of drugs, and who were seeking to reduce the risks of getting cancer.
The DMA has previously said that the trend for people taking their first treatment of cancer had continued to climb in recent years.
The association said that it expected that the numbers of new prescriptions for certain drugs will remain high over the next few years, but that it hoped that the overall trend would eventually reverse itself.
For many people, a single dose of chemotherapy can lead to the development of multiple malignancies.
Dietary supplements, such as fish oil and vitamin supplements, can be effective in reducing the risk of cancer and helping people cope with the effects of chemotherapy, but it has not been widely used as a primary treatment in the United States.