Number of items supplied on Scottish minor ailment service falls for first time

FOR the first time since it’s launch in 2006, the number of items supplied by pharmacists on the Minor Ailment Service (MAS) and the overall costs of items dispensed has fallen.

Figures1 from NHS National Services Scotland show that for 2016/17, 2,036,714 items were supplied at a cost of £4,884,427 compared to 2,157,603 items and £5,133,874 for 2015/16.

The number of people registered for MAS also fell by 6.6%, with 16.4% of the population of Scotland (around 884,000 people) now registered.

The top 10 items supplied were:

Product Number of items Gross ingredient cost (GIC)
Paracetamol 422,243 £581,693
Ibuprofen 116,619 £168,999
Citric acid [simple linctus] 103,365 £104,452
Dimeticone [headlice treatment] 83,763 £511,295
Chlorphenamine maleate 80,999 £185,129
Emollients 70,781 £275,448
Chloramphenicol 65,937 £104,239
Compound alginic preparations 60,314 £195,181
Cetirizine 57,456 £68,878
Clotrimazole 34,958 £54,808

Other figures included2:

  • The GIC of cough medicines supplied was around £147,000.
  • The GIC of homeopathic products supplied was around £8,000. 
  • NHS Ayrshire and Arran had the highest percentage of the population registered at 20.5%, while NHS Western Isles had the lowest at 4.2%.
  • 43.4% of the population under 16 years of age (around 398,000 people) were registered for MAS.
  • The most deprived quintile in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) had the highest percentage of people (52%) aged under 16 registered for MAS, while the least deprived quintile had the lowest percentage (36%).
  • 2,304 items were supplied per 1,000 MAS registrations, with MAS accounting for 2.02% of all items supplied in Scotland by community pharmacists.
  • NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde supplied the greatest number of items per 1,000 MAS registrations (2,631) while NHS Dumfries & Galloway supplied the least (1,692 items).


  1. NHS National Services Scotland. Number of dispensed items and cost of MAS items to March 2017.
  2. NHS National Services Scotland. Prescribing & Medicines: Minor Ailments Service (MAS). Financial year 2016/17.
Facebook Comments

Be the first to comment