King’s Fund: NHS spending on drugs has grown at a rate of 5 per cent every year since 2010/11

The King’s Fund |April 2018 | Rising spend on NHS medicines could jeopardise patients’ access to drugs, warns The King’s Fund 

In  2016/17, NHS spending on drugs was £17.4 billion compared to £13 billion in 2010/11- an average growth of around 5 per cent a year, however within the same period the NHS budget grew by an average of 1 per cent a year. A new report from The King’s Fund highlights how the spending on drugs has outpaced the NHS budget.


According to accompanying press release, much of the increase in spending has been in hospitals, which now account for nearly 50 per cent of the total amount the NHS spends on medicines, with costs having grown by around 12 per cent a year since 2010/11.

Spending in primary care has decreased due to the encouragement of generic, rather than branded drugs leading to reductions of nearly a quarter in the average costs per item.

The full release can be read at The King’s Fund

The report The rising cost of medicines to the NHS is available here 

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