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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Headache? believe what you read in newspapers?

Whilst not directly to do with hydroelectric power or even the Environment Agency (although they've precipitated a few headaches here!) - I spotted this yesterday and it struck me as indicative of the way our public servants account for how they spend our money and how it's reported. I daresay many clinicians actually working in the NHS would likely roll their eyes skywards and shake their head at the numbers involved and make a sighing noise.....  since there is obviously something wonky going on  - but  The Daily Telegraph is quoting the notional cost of prescriptions issued, not the cost of prescriptions redeemed.  Hardly due diligence on the part of The Telegraph which used to be a "quality" newspaper.....

"The NHS purportedly spends over £80 million each year handing out paracetamol with the average prescription costing 20 times the price of a packet of the simple painkiller in the supermarket."

This year 22 million prescriptions for paracetamol were written at a notional cost to tax payers of over £80 million pounds – an average cost of £3.67 per prescription.

This is a 13 per cent increase on last year when £73.5million was spent on the medicine, Government figures issued in a written answer have shown.

The gory details and lame excuses from the administrators are here in a Daily Telegraph report.

It just strikes me that as it's a generic over the counter drug that looks like it could simply be given away by doctors and hospitals without the expensive (and time wasting) shenanigans of the present documenation.  Albeit it's a drug that stupid people try to kill themselves with on occasion...

Some people give Paracetemol another "technical" name - and proceed to unscrupulously sell it at a much higher price....  that might be a better story for the Telegraph - but then that would involve some research and erm... thinking.

h/t Tim Worstall

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