An error has been identified in the written answer given on 03 November 2017.
The correct answer should have been:
The table below shows the top five individual medicines and chemicals that have shown the highest increase in cost price over the last 10 years for Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) per prescription item and NIC per quantity. Prescription medicines/chemicals have only been included where there was prescribing in both 2006 and 2016.
For any medicine listed, it does not necessarily mean that the price has increased. For example, the cost per prescription item will be higher if the quantity being prescribed per prescription item has increased.
This is based on Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) data. PCA data is based on analysis of all prescriptions dispensed in the community i.e. by community pharmacists and appliance contractors, dispensing doctors, and prescriptions submitted by prescribing doctors for items personally administered in England. PCA data do not cover drugs dispensed in hospitals, including mental health trusts, or private prescriptions.
Costs vary over time due to numerous factors including medicines going off patent and becoming available generically, unlicensed medicines becoming licensed medicines, shortages, the level of competition for generic medicines, as well as centrally agreed pricing schemes such as the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme.
The Department is working closely with the Competition and Markets Authority on a number of investigations into unwarranted price rises of unbranded generic medicines. Where companies have breached competition law, we will seek damages and invest that money back into the National Health Service.
The top five medicines with the highest increase in Net Ingredient1 Cost per prescription item2
Cerezyme_I/V Inf 400u Vl (Dry)
Chenodeoxycholic Acid_Cap 250mg
Trientine Dihydroch_Cap 300mg (Old)
Sod Benz_Liq Spec 400mg/5ml
Source: Prescription Cost Analysis
1NIC is the basic cost of a drug. It does not take account of discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income, so the amount the NHS spent will be slightly different.
2Prescriptions are written on a prescription form known as an FP10. Each single item written on the form is counted as a prescription item.