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Creating a new NHS England: Health Education England, NHS Digital and NHS England have merged. More about the merger.

Medicines spend and use data discovery Directions 2019

A Direction given by the Secretary of State for Health requiring NHS Digital to establish a collection of medicines spend and use data.


National health and care organisations require access to good quality, national data, about NHS medicine spend and use,

  • to improve patient care and outcomes 
  • understand the medicines market
  • manage medicines spend.

The collection and analysis of medicines data, will enable information to be obtained about the spend and usage of medicines, by NHS providers commonly referred to as secondary care, and may include but may not be limited to:

  • NHS acute providers (providing largely hospital-based services) 
  • NHS community providers (providing services such as district nursing, health visiting)
  • NHS mental health providers
  • NHS specialist providers (providing services such as specialist eyecare or cancer treatment)
  • NHS ambulance services
  • organisations commissioned by the NHS to provide NHS services, including medicines supply and medicines stock control services.

Discovery work is required to collect and analyse data from NHS providers who have agreed to participate, to work towards an eventual common specification or standard, for data collection. 

Learn more about the Direction

Last edited: 28 January 2020 4:05 pm