Scottish prescriptions costs ‘soaring’ 0.1% above inflation warn BBC, Scotsman and iNews


I know, my headline reveals that I just don’t understand journalism. Nobody is going to read that. Showing their churnalistic class, BBC Scotland today warned:

‘Scottish prescription costs rise by 25% over 10 years’

and reminded us that:

‘Prescriptions have been free in Scotland since April 2011, a policy introduced by the SNP government.’

The Scotsman had:

‘Scottish prescriptions bill 25% higher than decade ago’

And the iNews had:

‘Scotland’s NHS faces soaring prescriptions bill as population ages’

OMG! It’s worrying, isn’t it? How will we be able to afford this reckless utopian SNP policy after independence? Wait a minute, how much has inflation risen in the same period? Look at this graph:


So, the average inflation rate over the period 2008 to 2018 was 23.9 divided by 10 or 2.39%. Is there really a story there?




19 thoughts on “Scottish prescriptions costs ‘soaring’ 0.1% above inflation warn BBC, Scotsman and iNews

  1. John July 24, 2018 / 4:41 pm

    Thanks for the breakdown John , your little grey cells are still working well . Good to know we have not reached Armageddon just yet , that will be when Brexit it all it’s unprecedented glory arrives , at least it will affect all the UK !.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. William Henderson July 24, 2018 / 5:11 pm


    By my reckoning, taking inflation as being cumulative, the total inflation between 2007 and 2017 amounted to 26.5%. If the NHS Scotland bill for prescriptions increased by 25% then that represents a SAVING of 1.5%.

    Also, isn’t it a wee bit scary to realise that our money is now worth only about three-quarters of what it was ten years ago and that’s using the official figures for inflation which are kept artificially low to limit pension increases etc?

    Liked by 1 person

      • William Henderson July 24, 2018 / 6:36 pm

        No. I started the cumulative calculation at 2008. I think the point is still valid..


    • Donald McGregor July 25, 2018 / 2:10 pm

      I got the same figures about 3 minutes after I read the BBC story. Those three minutes were spent looking for some, any, journalistic mention of the fact that inflation exists.
      The only mention seemed to be a snippet that noted that snp ‘admitted’ that the figures had not been inflation adjusted. Even more SNP bad rolled into the same outrageous non-story.
      And yet ‘people’ still cannot comprehend that BBC and other media may be deliberately doing us down!


    • Alasdair Macdonald July 25, 2018 / 9:17 pm

      Wings Over Scotland, using the Bank of England inflation calculator, has shown that in the 10 year period reported, inflation rose by 31.9%. The cost of prescriptions, without taking inflation into account, rose by 25,7%. So, despite the ageing population, including codgers like I who has FIVE prescription drugs, compared to just one 20 years ago, the prescriptions bill has actually FALLEN in real terms.


      • Alasdair Macdonald July 25, 2018 / 9:18 pm

        That should read “10 years ago.” Apologies.


  3. Gerry Robertson July 24, 2018 / 6:29 pm

    I would dearly love to know how many FOI requests BBC Scotland has done over the last 5 years and for the same period how many requested by BBC England. If anyone knows please email me. Tanks

    Liked by 2 people

    • John July 24, 2018 / 6:52 pm

      I would also dearly love to know , but I bet it is nowhere near BBC Scotland’s by a long mile ! .

      Liked by 1 person

    • patziwinter July 25, 2018 / 7:26 am

      Would an FOI requesting that be considered vexatious?


  4. Alasdair Macdonald July 24, 2018 / 8:30 pm

    It is possible that the adverse reports about the NHS appearing in our media are not intended primarily as an attack on the Scottish Government but part of a protracted campaign to weaken public confidence in and support for the NHS as a public institution. It is clear that the current Westminster government is seeking to privatise as much of public service as possible and, in its drive for some kind of Brexit deal, sees opening up of health provision as a way of attracting foreign and particularly US trade deals.

    If they can, in addition, get an incidental attack on the current Scottish Government good and well.

    Many of the stories knocking the NHS are simply Conservative press releases. Or, if they have other sources, then the Conservatives are usually given the first opportunity in the reporting to make a comment, which sets the tenor and makes it appear that the SG is reacting to an adverse finding.

    Today we had the report on the alleged increase in prescriptions for drugs for alleviation of mental distress being made for young people as a ‘trailer’ for the radio “File on Four” programme on this matter. On GMS we had an aggressive but generally incoherent interview of the Health Minister by Hayley Miller, which was abruptly ended – ‘we’ve run out of time’. The parent of a young person who, sadly, committed suicide was heard verbatim on every bulletin as if she were an expert. She is a parent who has tragically lost her child and has sincere concerns about how her child was treated, but, we were being invited to generalise her experience and to take her opinion as that of an ‘expert’.

    Liked by 2 people

    • johnrobertson834 July 24, 2018 / 8:57 pm

      Interesting idea though I’ve always positioned our media elites to the left of Tory privatisers in a kind of Blairite Europhile world wishing he hadn’t spoiled things with Iraq.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ludo Thierry July 25, 2018 / 4:54 pm

    Quite a bit of the NHS drug formulary has to be imported. At least part of the price increase for prescribed medication will be due to the UK £ sustained drop relative to the Euro and $ following Westminster tory govt (and Labour Opposition) fixation with delivering a ‘hard’ brexit. – Funny how the articles all managed to forget that little piece of the jigsaw n’est – ce pas?


  6. Donald McGregor July 26, 2018 / 7:01 am

    ‘Interesting’ to see that this story has now either been taken down or relegated way back.
    Job done. This whole news management / twisting is grotesque.


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