Patients are dying as a result of the Scottish Government's free prescription policy because other areas of the NHS are being deprived of funding, Ruth Davidson has claimed.
People are "practically paying with their lives" as a consequence of the policy, the Scottish Tory leader said, highlighting the lack of a cancer drugs fund such as that in England.
Answering questions at the Conservative party conference, she also said thousands of nursing and midwifery posts have been cut in Scotland.
"It's well known across the UK there are free prescriptions in Scotland. What it doesn't tell you is what that costs us," Ms Davidson said.
"In the last few years we have seen the number of nurses and midwives reduced by thousands. The people in Scotland are practically paying with their lives for this policy because in England and Wales they have access to the cancer drugs fund, so people with rarer cancers can be treated for that, they can have lives extended.
"It may not make a difference to a huge number of people but to the people it makes a difference to, my God it makes a huge difference and we don't have that in Scotland."
Her speech to the conference in Birmingham, delivered in the smaller "interactive hall" rather than the main auditorium where David Cameron will address activists, was a rallying cry to produce an "emphatic" rejection of independence in the referendum.
"Victory for the UK in the referendum must be emphatic - it can't be by an inch, it must be by a mile - to provide the stability essential for our continued prosperity. And that is where you can help. We know that during the referendum on separatism in Quebec, it mattered that the rest of Canada said 'we want you to stay'," she said.
Meanwhile, Scotland Office Minister David Mundell said it was "vitally important" that the referendum question offered a simple in/out choice.
"The issues around whether there is more devolution or the devolution settlement changing is a completely separate debate. It's a debate that will continue and it will be a debate that can reach different conclusions in different political parties, for example. But it is not the same debate as whether Scotland should be part of the United Kingdom. So within roughly two years from now we will have the prospect for the people of Scotland to make their decision 'in or out of the United Kingdom'.