Middle Articles

Halving the Cost of Anaesthetic Agents

Br Med J 1970; 1 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.1.5694.488 (Published 21 February 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;1:488
  1. C. E. Briscoe

    Abstract

    A survey in South Wales has been used to estimate the annual cost of individual anaesthetic drugs used in the National Health Service. Halothane, costing £900,000, is the most expensive item, followed by oxygen (£390,000) and nitrous oxide (£350,000). The total cost of drugs used for hospital anaesthetics is estimated to be £2,300,000, and for dental anaesthetics £156,000. The drug cost of the average hospital anaesthetic is £1 3s. and of the average dental anaesthetic 1s. 9d.

    The provision of liquid oxygen stores could reduce oxygen costs by up to 90%, and the greater use of closed-circuit anaesthesia, with low gas flows, could save £750,000 annually. The drug cost of an anaesthetic in Cardiff has risen from 8s. 4d. in 1959 to 19s. 10d. in 1968, but costs in Cardiff compare favourably with published figures from other similar centres.

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