In 2008, 842.5 million prescription items were dispensed in England, a rise or 5.8% from 2007, new figures show. Since 1998, the number of prescription items dispensed has increased by 64.1%.
The net ingredient cost of prescription items fell by 0.6% from 2007 to 2008, to £8.3bn. Over the same period, the average net ingredient cost per prescription item fell by 6% in cash terms to £9.88. In 1998 the average cost per item was £9.16.
NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said the cost reductions could in part be a result of controls on the prices of commonly prescribed generic medicines.
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