This part presents information on the number of prescriptions for drugs used to treat obesity and the Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) of these prescriptions. The data source is Prescription Analysis and Cost (PACT) data from NHS Prescription Services. It includes items prescribed in primary care and dispensed in the community. It excludes prescriptions written in hospitals that are dispensed in the community, prescriptions dispensed in hospitals, dental prescribing and private prescriptions.
The 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.
Since 2010, Orlistat (Xenical®) is the only drug available in the UK that is recommended specifically for the management of obesity. Orlistat acts by reducing the absorption of dietary fat. Clinical guidelines state that pharmacological interventions should only be used in conjunction with other interventions (exercise, diet).
NICE guidance on obesity treatment.
Prescribing data is reported by financial year (previously calendar year). However, as financial year data is only available from 2014/15, time series analysis will continue to be based on calendar years. Calendar year data is shown in table 5.1b.