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Prescription Cost Analysis, England - 2016

Publication date: 09:30 March 30, 2017


Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) provides details of the number of items and the net ingredient cost (NIC) of all prescriptions dispensed in the community in England. The drugs dispensed are listed by British National Formulary (BNF) therapeutic class. This publication includes data sheets for the first time on items dispensed and NIC from 2006 to 2016 at individual presentation level.
The Prescribing by Dentists report is no longer published separately in April, however the data is already included in this publication and a separate csv file purely with the dentists data is now included. Please note the two csv files (PCA data and Dental data) should not be added together as the PCA data already includes the Dental data.
Further analysis of the PCA and Dental data will be published later in the year in the Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community publication.

Key Facts

In 2016, £9.20 billion was the cost of prescriptions dispensed in the community. A decrease of 0.67 per cent from £9.27 billion in 2015.
In 2016, 1.10 billion prescription items were dispensed in the community. An increase of 1.89 per cent from 1.08 billion in 2015.
The 2016 data are provided from the links below in three formats:
1. Portable Document Format (PDF)
A summary factsheet of Items and NIC and the main report. In the main report, there are a very large number of preparations/dressings/appliances where less than 50 items were dispensed in 2016. While accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the total number of preparations dispensed, such preparations covered just 0.01 per cent of the total items dispensed. In order, therefore, to keep the PDF file to a manageable size, such preparations have been excluded, although their figures are included in all total figures such as chemical entity and BNF groupings.

2. Spreadsheet (XLS) - Excel 2003 or later version in zipped format
An Excel file with the top 20 chemicals dispensed by both Items and NIC in a tabular and chart form and a zipped file of data on all preparations including products where less than 50 prescription items were dispensed. The Excel zipped file includes totals for the following 7 levels of aggregation: Individual preparation, Chemical entity, BNF sub paragraph, BNF paragraph, BNF section, BNF chapter and Overall total. An additional zipped file of data on all preparations from 2006 to 2016 by both Items and NIC is available this year.
The data in the file for prescription numbers, cost and quantity are given exactly.
3. Comma Separated Value (CSV) format
The Comma Separated Value file gives the number of prescription items dispensed for all individual preparations, dressings or appliances.


Date Range: 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016
Geographical coverage: England

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