Print the cost of medicine on the Prescription Form

£3.85 is the current cost per item on a Prescription Form. In reality, £3.85 is a notional contribution towards the medically prescribed item. The actual cost of the medicine is rarely covered by the notional contribution.

My suggestion is to state the actual purchase cost next to the prescribed medicine on the prescription form. The purchase cost will go some way towards showing the patient the value (£s) of the medicine they are receiving.

Why the contribution is important

The idea is important as it would raise awareness and appreciation of the value of the medicine received. 

The idea would lead to less waste of medicines by patients with proper disposal of unused items.

The idea would promote patient responsibility by encouraging the use of medicines to avoid unnecessary repeat prescriptions.


by newbroom on May 01, 2017 at 01:57PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 5 votes


  • Posted by Hemmingway May 01, 2017 at 14:42

    This should help cut down the waste relating to expensive prescription drugs.
    It would make people more aware of the cost of their treatment.
    I have seen people throwing away large quantities of expensive prescription drugs (perhaps because their medical needs had changed / or they thought the side effects of the drugs were bad for them).
    If those people knew the true cost of their prescription drugs then they would be more likely to treat the drugs with respect or to return their unopened, unused drugs. E.g. return to hospital pharmacy.

  • Posted by ManxVoter May 01, 2017 at 15:37

    What? Why not ask the pharmacist to also print his profit margin?

    Meantime, I'm only going to take the tablets - as they're what keep me alive
  • Posted by Benagglagh May 01, 2017 at 22:21

    On the rare occasions when I've been to the doctor I've come away prescriptions - unless it's been for necessary antibiotics I throw the prescription away. (Dad was a pharmacist and he brought me up to avoid taking prescription drugs unless absolutely necessary!).
  • Posted by dpfellows May 01, 2017 at 23:40

    What percentage of drugs dispensed are generic? In the USA and U.K. it is about 80%. Is data available for the IOM? We should be targeting a similar level and should be measuring how we are doing.
  • Posted by Geraldine May 04, 2017 at 21:10

    I think that any returned medication, whether opened or not, is destroyed by the pharmacist.
  • Posted by ninjadispenser May 06, 2017 at 16:36

    It is correct that returned medication,unused and unopened MUST be destroyed by the Pharmacy and,as I work in one,I know this is the case.I am staggered by the wasted medicines I have seen,but am absolutely convinced that the solution lies with the prescribing Doctor/nurse and with the pharmacies ensuring folks are only ordering what they require and not mindlessly ticking everything on the repeat slip. Also,we ask customers to check the prescription BEFORE they leave the Pharmacy as if something has been reordered that they don't need,it can be removed and 'undone' on the computer and returned into stock.After leaving the Pharmacy this option is not open and would be illegal.And no,the Pharmacy cannot claim payment for the item and none would risk their licence by doing so.Chain Pharmacies get paid the published price of the item plus a dispensing fee,which was reduced by 12per cent last year so there is no big profit margin. Prescribers should stop writing large amounts of new medication and review sooner before increasing amount.
  • Posted by ninjadispenser May 06, 2017 at 16:45

    Additionally,printing the price of the medicine could make some people feel guilty about having it even if it is needed as a few medicines are very pricey indeed.Most generic drugs are fairly cheap and then you would get the situation of paying £3.85 for drug that cost 88 pence a packet.I just don't think it's a worthwhile thing to pursue and reducing ordering and prescribing is much more likely to help,as well as overhauling the exemption rules and categories which are archaic and unfair.
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