The amount of drugs handed out has risen 50% to £800m a year
Over-prescribing is costing the Welsh NHS millions and causing an unnecessary waste of medication, a new inquiry has concluded.
The Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee discovered there has been a 46% rise in the number of items dispensed by medics in the past 10 years.
Latest figures show the cost of prescribing medicines in Wales is around £800m per year in primary care alone – or more than 10% of the total Welsh NHS budget.
The committee was told that as many as half of all hospital admissions could be medication-related, where patients have either been prescribed the wrong drugs or, more likely, had taken the wrong dosage.
But incidents of medication-related admissions are not recorded so there is no way of establishing the true size of the issue.