Statistics show huge rise in pharmacy workload

Pharmacies in England and Wales offered more services and dispensed more prescriptions than ever before during 2005-2006, according to latest figures from The Information Centre for health and social care.

Pharmacies dispensed nearly 714 million prescriptions during the year, a rise of 47 per cent on the 484 million items issued a decade earlier. During this time period the number of community pharmacies has increased by only 1 per cent.

The report highlights the changing face of pharmacy services over the decade including the new legislation introduced in April 2005, which allowed a simplified application process for four categories of pharmacies:

Since then, 18 applications were granted for mail order or internet based pharmacy services and 156 applications were granted for ‘100-hour plus’ pharmacies.

A quarter of the 10,580 pharmacies in England and Wales now offer a supervised stop-smoking service and 10 per cent offer home delivery for prescriptions.

Thirty nine percent of pharmacies are accredited to undertake medicines use reviews and provided 152,854 reviews during the year.

Ninety per cent of pharmacies in England and nearly 100 per cent of pharmacies in Wales now offer a service to collect and dispose of unwanted or out of date drugs.

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