This section presents information on the number of prescription items used to help people stop smoking, using Prescription Analysis and Cost (PACT) data, which are accessed from NHS Prescription Services.
The Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) is the basic cost of a drug as listed in the Drug Tariff or price lists; it does not include discounts, dispensing costs, prescription charges or fees.
There are three main pharmacotherapies prescribed for the treatment of smoking dependence in England: Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), Bupropion (Zyban) and Varenicline (Champix).
The number of prescription items dispensed in England in 2018/19 was 740 thousand, compared to 2.3 million ten years ago.
Prescription items dispensed peaked at 2.6 million in 2010/11.
In 2018/19, 396 thousand items of NRTs were dispensed, down from 463 thousand in 2017/18, and just over a quarter of the total of ten years ago in 2008/09 (1.5 million).
320 thousand items of Varenicline were dispensed in 2018/19, compared with a peak of 987 thousand items in 2010/11.
Bupropion is the least common item, with 24 thousand dispensed in 2018/19, a slight increase from 23 thousand in 2017/18.