Funding and dispensing of private medical prescriptions: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

You asked for  all recorded information from the past 10 years   on:

  1. The regulation of private medical prescriptions
  2. Provision of funding to cover the costs of a private medical prescription from:
    a.  the Scottish Government
    b.  a body listed in Part 4 of Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

You subsequently provided clarification that your request relates to the dispensing of medicine on  private prescription  once it has been provided by a   prescriber.


There  are  no Scottish  regulations on private medical prescriptions.
The Scottish Government has received correspondence from a small number of individuals within the past 10 years relating to the dispensing of a private medical prescription. Copies of the correspondence from and to individuals is attached. All personal information and identifiers  have been redacted

In 2009, the Scottish Government issued guidance to NHS Boards on arrangements for NHS patients receiving healthcare services through  private healthcare arrangements.   This  guidance  is available  at -        
You may wish to consider asking NHS National Services Scotland and the territorial Health Boards if they  hold any local information on the dispensing  of private  prescriptions.  


An  exemption applies
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to some the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names and contact details of individuals and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. 
This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption 
An exemption applies, subject to the public interest test
An exemption under sections 30(b) and 30(c) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. 
This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is some public interest in release. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that  MSPs/MPs are able to carry out their public duty effectively.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI-19-01945 Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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