NHS is spending more than £440 million in a year on painkillers, according to new analysis it is the biggest bill in the north. England data shows, health trust spends £8.80 an average per head on the population on drugs treating pain, with some doctors even giving patients Lemsip and Anadin on their prescription.
Data analysis firm SSentif examined the year for 2010/11 from the NHS and head of population’s data from Office for National Statistics.
Researchers found that the overall NHS has spent on painkillers in the year 2010/11 was over £442 million. On northern cities and towns, the cost per head was as high as £15, dropping in some parts of the south to just £3.26 per head. According to analysis, the highest spend was in Middlesbrough, Rochdale, Blackpool and Hartlepool, with prescriptions of painkillers billed on primary care trust averages to £2.3m each.
The figures doubled more than the prescription in Twickenham and Richmond, Camdem and Westminster primary care trust (PCT’s), in despite of lower populations. The analysis also showed that PCT spents thousands prescribing over-the-counter painkillers and branded flu and cold medicines such as Beechams, Anadin, Lemsip and Panadol. PCt’s spent just over £3,000 between January and June on Prescriptions for flu and cold remedies and more than £59,000 on prescribing over-the-counter painkillers.
The research also looked at any links between prescribing painkillers, older age and deprivation (over 65 yrs). Found strong correlations in between prescribing painkillers and age in south but didn’t find no link with deprivation.
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