Cardiovascular drugs account for a third of prescriptions

Cardiovascular drugs account for a third of all medicines prescribed in primary care in England, NHS Information Centre figures show.

Medicines to treat disorders of the cardiovascular system account for 31% of all prescriptions prescriptions dispensed in the community. They account for 20% of spending on medicines in primary care.

In addition, four of the five most commonly prescribed drugs are used to treat cardiovascular disease: simvastatin, aspirin, ramipril and bendroflumethiazide.

The only medicine to make the top five that is not used to treat cardiovascular disorders is the hypothyroidism drug levothyroxine sodium.

NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: ‘It is interesting to note that while these four drugs account for almost 13% of all prescription items dispensed in England, they represent just under 2% of the total net ingredient cost.’

Prescribing in England accounted for around £8.5bn in 2009 in terms of net ingredient cost.

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