About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) reports on the number and cost of NHS prescriptions dispensed in the community in Scotland for the financial year 2022/23. It includes a breakdown of dispensing contractor payments, which are for services provided (remuneration) and products dispensed (reimbursement). The report also includes additional information on specific Community Pharmacy services.

Main points

Overall cost

  • The total (net) cost for dispensing items and providing services in 2022/23 was £1.52 billion, increasing by 5.0% from £1.45 billion in 2021/22. This follows a period of largely rising cost, increasing by 33% over the last 10 years.
Image caption Total (Net) cost (£ Millions) in NHS Scotland: 2013/14 - 2022/23

Products reimbursed

  • The total number of items reimbursed between 2021/22 and 2022/23 increased by 3.5%, from 106.5 million to 110.3 million items. Over the last 10 years the total number of items reimbursed has increased by 11.6% from 98.8 million items in 2013/14.
  • The cost of items reimbursed (Net Ingredient Cost) increased by 5.8% between 2021/22 and 2022/23 and increased by 33% over the last 10 years.
  • Apixiban, used to prevent blood clots, had the highest Gross Ingredient Cost at £38.8million. This was also the case in the previous year (£34m in 2021/22).

Services provided

  • The cost for remuneration of services was £301.5 million in 2022/23. This was an increase (1.6%) from the previous year (£296.7million).


Information on NHS services provided in community pharmacies, prescription items supplied by community pharmacies, dispensing doctors and appliance suppliers is obtained from the Prescribing Information System. Further information on the data can be found in the main report.

Further information

The next release of this publication will be September 2024.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please contact Lynne Jarvis at phs.prescribing@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 21 March 2024
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