Scottish Parliament inquiry launched into medicines


The pressure of the cost of medicines for Scotland’s NHS is to be investigated by a Scottish Parliament Committee.

The Health and Sport Committee’s latest inquiry is seeking to find out how medicine usage can be improved and waste reduced. Estimates suggest anywhere from 15% to 50% of prescriptions go to waste.

The inquiry is looking into all aspects of the supply and demand for medicines in Scotland’s NHS including:

• Purchasing (both procurement and medicine price regulation)
• Prescribing (who is licensed to write prescriptions)
• Dispensing (whether through a hospital, a pharmacy or a surgery)
• Consumption (looking at the effectiveness of prescriptions and any wastage issues).

Lewis Macdonald MSP, Convener of the Health and Sport Committee, said:

“A recurring theme in our scrutiny of Health Boards is controlling the medicines budget and it is essential we understand all the pressures that they face.

“We need to ensure that patients are receiving the most clinically and cost-effective medicines possible while ensuring medicines wastage is reduced to a minimum

“This is a vital inquiry and the Committee look forward to seeking solutions to help future proof Scotland’s NHS so that any medicines required are available and acquired at a fair price that benefits all.”

The inquiry will look to find ways in which the current system could be made more effective and efficient, including through the use of technology.

You can contact the Committee with your views here:

The inquiry’s call for views is open until 22nd November.


You can learn more about the work of the Health and Sport Committee on the Scottish Parliament website.



Contact information

 Media information

Committee information

  • For further information on this inquiry please contact David Cullum, Clerk to the Health and Sport Committee – [email protected]


Public information

  • Telephone enquiry line: 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5395 (Gàidhlig)
  • [email protected]
  • Text 07786 209 888
  • Ask a question online through live chat
  • We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL

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