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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Prescription Cost Analysis - England, 2004

Official statistics, National statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Date Range:
01 Jan 2004 to 31 Dec 2004


ISBN Reference: 1 84182956 0

Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) provides details of the number of items and the net ingredient cost of all prescriptions dispensed in the community in England. The drugs dispensed are listed alphabetically within chemical entity by British National Formulary (BNF) therapeutic class.

EEC Directive 92/27/EEC requires that names of medicinal substances be changed from the British Approved Name (BAN) to the Recommended International Non-proprietary Name (rINN), where the BAN and rINN differ. A full list of the name changes appears in the introductory pages of the British National Formulary. The Prescription Cost Analysis system will reflect these changes from 2003 onwards.

This publication is available from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, priced 12.00. Telephone 0845 300 6016

PCA in electronic format

The 2004 data are provided from the links below in two formats:

  • Portable Document Format
  • Downloadable spreadsheet Excel 5 or later version, or Excel 5 in zipped format .

In the PDF file, the number of prescription items dispensed for individual preparations, dressings or appliances is rounded to the nearest 100. There are a very large number of preparations/dressings/appliances where only 50 items or less were dispensed in 2004. While accounting for just under 50 % of the total number of preparations dispensed, such preparations covered less than 0.02% of the total items dispensed. In order, therefore, to keep the publication to a manageable size, such preparations have been excluded. Information on these items can be obtained by contacting the address in paragraph 4 below.

The Excel file also excludes data on products where less than 50 prescription items were dispensed and aggregating data for individual products may not produce the actual totals. The Excel file therefore includes these totals for the following 6 levels of aggregation:

  • Chemical entity
  • BNF sub paragraph
  • BNF paragraph
  • BNF section
  • BNF chapter
  • Overall total

The data in the file for prescription numbers, cost and quantity are given to the nearest hundred. However we would recommend that any data extracted for use is presented to the nearest thousand.

Further details about PCA data can be obtained from:
Mr Glen Scrivener
Prescribing Support Unit
NHS Digital
7 and 8 Wellington Place
West Yorkshire
Telephone: 0113 2547041

Please let us know at this address if you have any comments on this publication.

Availability of publications

Further copies of this book, and previous publications (including bulletins) from 1998 onwards, are available from The Health and Social Care Information Centre: tel: 0845 3006016, as well as through the channels listed in the Ordering Publications page.

Administrative Sources



Last edited: 9 April 2021 10:09 am