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NHS spend on medicines

NHS spending on medicines is growing at a faster rate than the overall NHS budget. In 2016-17, the Department of Health & Social Care estimates that the NHS spent £15.4 billion on medicines. The NHS identified its spend on medicines as one the ten areas for efficiency in its 2017 strategy Next Steps on the Five Year Forward View, which sets out actions for different parts of the NHS to deliver.

This study will examine whether the NHS has an effective strategy to secure value for money from its spending on medicines. It will cover spending across the NHS, in the community and in hospitals, and different types medicines including patent and off patent medicines. It follows the NAO’s report on generic medicines in primary care, which we published in June 2018.

If you would like to provide evidence for our study please email the study team on The team will consider the evidence you provide; however, please note that due to the volume of information we receive we may not respond to you directly. If you need to raise a concern please use our contact form.