THE annual percentage rise in spending on medication has fallen by almost half in the Balearics in the last three years. It has gone from an annual rise of 13.15 percent registered in 2003 to a rise of 8.12 percent in 2004 and 7.16 percent in 2005. This reduction in medical costs has allowed the Balearic Ministry of Health to reach their target in this area, set at the beginning of this term of office, which was to reduce the rise in spending to under 8 percent annually, according to Ministry sources. According to the figures released, the spending on officially prescribed medication in the Balearics was more than 136 million euros in 2002, in 2003 it exceeded 153 million, in 2004 the total was 165 million and 177 million in 2005. According to the Ministry, these figures demonstrate that in spite of the Balearics being one of the communities which has grown most in population (a rise of 20 percent since 2000), spending on medication has fallen. This department has adopted a list of measures designed to reduce the growth in spending on medication, which is founded on the concept of “rational use of medication”, which includes the encouragement of the use of non-branded medicines. In fact, the Ministry has created a Commission for the Rational Use of Medication, with the participation of official pharmaceutical schools and doctors, which is charged with the design of policies for the containment of this spending. This department has also started a programme of incentives for doctors in first aid centres who are capable of containing the growth of medical spending.