Freedom of Information Disclosure Log

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Open Government Licence 2.0 (United Kingdom) [Open Data]



Please provide the following data regarding the prescribing of CNS stimulants and ADHD medicines (BNF 68 section 4.4) in England:

• Number of patients prescribed CNS stimulants and ADHD medicines between January 2015 and January 2023 broken down by: - Month; - Age group (0-17 years, 18+ years); - Gender (Male and Female). - Chemical substance


A copy of the information is attached.

NHS Prescription Services process prescriptions for Pharmacy Contractors, Appliance Contractors, Dispensing Doctors and Personal Administration with information then used to make payments to pharmacists and appliance contractors in England for prescriptions dispensed in primary care settings (other arrangements are in place for making payments to Dispensing Doctors and Personal Administration). This involves processing over 1 billion prescription items and payments totalling over £9 billion each year. The information gathered from this process is then used to provide information on costs and trends in prescribing in England and Wales to over 25,000 registered NHS and Department of Health and Social Care users.

Data Source

The data source was the NHSBSA Information Services Data Warehouse.


The Data excludes: • Items not dispensed, disallowed and those returned to the contractor for further clarification. • Prescriptions prescribed and dispensed in Prisons, Hospitals and Private prescriptions. • Items prescribed but not presented for dispensing or not submitted to NHS Prescription Services by the dispenser.

Time Period

April 2015 to January 2023 inclusive. Patient Data is available from April 2015 onwards.

Organisation Data

Only items that were prescribed in England and dispensed in the community have been included.

Year Month

The year and month for which the claim for dispensed items has been submitted to NHSBSA.

BNF Chemical Substance

The nine characters at the beginning of a BNF code which specify the Chemical substance of a drug.


Whether an identified patient is (male or female) has been determined using the latest patient gender information held by the NHSBSA Information Services data warehouse at the time that the prescription data was loaded. Patient gender information is updated periodically - sometime after the data has been loaded - using information from NHS Personal Demographics Service (PDS). At the time that prescription data is loaded the PDS data held by NHSBSA may be incomplete or may not reflect the latest data held by PDS. Patient gender cannot be reported for prescriptions for which the NHS number could not be captured or where no corresponding PDS data is held by NHSBSA. Prescriptions used in this dataset have been limited to where the data held in the NHSBSA data Warehouse has been recorded as male or female. The following percentage of prescription items within the dataset had a recorded gender of male or female, by calendar year:

2015 (April to December) 79.36% 2016 81.66% 2017 81.69% 2018 81.72% 2019 83.97% 2020 87.83% 2021 87.65% 2022 87.56% 2023 (January) 87.56%


Patient age is as captured on prescriptions during processing. Patients may appear in more than one age group if they have prescribing in more than one age group therefore patient counts should not be added together, and they should only be used as presented in this request. Data has been limited to prescriptions where an age has been captured, the following percentage of prescription items within the dataset had a recorded age, by calendar year;

2015 (April to December) 83.85% 2016 84.29% 2017 83.97% 2018 84.20% 2019 85.62% 2020 88.75% 2021 88.46% 2022 88.39% 2023 (January) 88.34%

Patient identification

Data has been limited to prescriptions for which the NHS number was captured during NHSBSA processing. The following percentage of prescription items within the dataset captured an NHS number, by calendar year:

2015 (April to December) 79.76% 2016 81.89% 2017 81.81% 2018 82.08% 2019 84.50% 2020 88.19% 2021 87.97% 2022 87.87% 2023 (January) 87.82%

Please note that this request and our response is published on our Freedom of Information disclosure log at:

Data and Resources

This dataset has no data

Additional Info

Field Value
Contact Information Governance
State active
Last Updated April 14, 2023, 07:31 (UTC)
Created April 14, 2023, 07:30 (UTC)