Medicines account for just over 10% of total public expenditure on health. Total payments to pharmacies by the state for the year 2004 was €1,092.7 million, a 15.8% increase as compared with a payment of €943.21 million in 2003. The National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics identifies the drug groups which account for the greatest expenditure to the GMS payments board and uses the GMS database to analyse drug utilisation and expenditure trends. The GMS database is a primary care database which provides a record of all prescription items dispensed to GMS patients throughout the eleven health board regions in Ireland.
The information in this article was current at 02 Dec 2011