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Publication, Part of

Statistics on Smoking, England - 2019 [NS] [PAS]

Official statistics, National statistics

National Statistics

Part 2: Prescription items used to help people stop smoking

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).

Prescription items used to help people stop smoking

Prescription items dispensed, by year

The number of prescription items dispensed in England in 2018/19 was 740 thousand, compared to 2.26 million ten years ago.

Prescription items dispensed peaked at 2.56 million in 2010/11.

In 2018/19, 396 thousand items of NRT were dispensed, down from 463 thousand in 2017/18, and around a quarter of the total of ten years ago in 2008/09 (1.49 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 2017/18, with little change in the level over the last few years.


Prescription items dispensed by Clinical Commissioning Group, per 1,000 population

The rate of items dispensed per 1,000 population in 2018/19 was 13 for England.

NHS Bradford City CCG had the highest rate of items dispensed, with 40 per 1,000 population. NHS Manchester (35) and NHS Wakefield (33) had the next highest rates.

NHS Wyre Forest, NHS South Worcestershire and NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove all recorded rates of below 1 item per 1,000 population.

England rate: 13 per 1,000 population


Total cost of prescription items dispensed

£23.0 million was the Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) of all prescription items used to help people quit smoking in 2018/19.

This is a fall of 65% compared to 2010/11 when the NIC of all prescription items peaked at £65.9 million.


Average NIC per item

In 2018/19, the average NIC per item for all pharmacotherapy items was £31.

The average per item was £40 for Bupropion, £35 for Varenicline and £27 for NRT.


Last edited: 1 July 2019 2:48 pm