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Information on the estimated costs at list price of medicines used in hospitals and prescribed in primary care in 2018-19 has been published by NHS Digital.
Prescribing Costs in Hospitals and the Community: England 2018-19 includes the costs at list price, which is the basic cost of a drug excluding VAT and not necessarily the price the NHS paid. It does not take account of any contract prices or discounts, dispensing costs, fees or prescription charges income.
The latest information for 2018-19 is included in the report, as well as a time series from 2014-15.
Read the full report
Notes for editors
The aim over the coming years is to transition the report to new data sources that are becoming available. The primary care prescribing component is now sourced from the NHS BSA’s new data warehouse which brings a number of data improvements, the main one being that prescribing by dentists is also included to ensure the whole of primary care prescribing is captured in the costs. The HPAI data set from IQVIA will continue to be used for secondary care reporting of estimated costs however additional contextual information on actual medicine costs from Rx-Info’s Define data will be included for the first time in future publications.
Earlier this year, a public consultation was carried out by NHS Digital about the development of prescribing data. It was looking to align outputs with the NHS Business Services Authority data releases and expanding and increasing the usability of prescribing data as new data sources become available. Respondents to the consultation welcomed the move to new data sources for the Prescribing Costs in Hospitals and the Community publication which will enable this report to provide information on the actual cost paid by the NHS for medicines. The data will more accurately reflect the true cost of medicines to the NHS to determine the true scale of spend and growth.
NHS Digital is the national information and technology partner of the health and care system. Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend. During the 2018/19 financial year, NHS Digital published 265 statistical reports. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better.