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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-01436: Alison Johnstone (Lothian)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 13 July 2016

To ask the Scottish Government for what conditions omeprazole is prescribed by the NHS.

Answered by: Shona Robison 9 August 2016

Omeprazole is a drug prescribed for reducing stomach acid in the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers, dyspepsia and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. In addition, omeprazole is increasingly recommended to prevent the side-effects from treatments for patients with arthritis and chronic pain.Increases in prescribing volumes are consistent with those attributable to an aging population with more complex medical needs. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have recently recommended prescribing omeprazole for patients receiving treatment for arthritis who may require gastro-protection, leading to further increases.The number of people prescribed omeprazole in each year since 2010-11 is set out in the following table:-

Financial Year

Number of Patients

2010-11

564,743

2011-12

624,569

2012-13

657,270

2013-14

677,520

2014-15

707,464

2015-16

724,424

The figures include only those patients for whom a Community Health Index (CHI) number has been captured from the patient’s prescription form. CHI capture rate on prescriptions, while improving, is currently less than 100%. There will, therefore, be a degree of discrepancy between actual patient numbers and prescription items dispensed, more so in the earlier years.The Scottish Government has not undertaken any projections for the next five years.