Freedom of Information Disclosure Log

The NHSBSA's responses to Freedom of Information requests. read more


Open Government Licence 3.0 (United Kingdom) [Open Data]


Thank you for your request for information about the following:

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I was wondering if you would be able to develop on top of the FOI Request FOI 24442, FOI 27689, FOI 30978, FOI 01003 (April 2020 to March 2022) (April 2022 to June 2022) (July 2022 to November 2022) (December 2022 to January 2023)

The data in these requests were from the data source ‘NHSBSA Information Services Data Warehouse’ with the Columns YEAR_MONTH, PRACTICE_CODE, DISPENSER_CODE, BNF_CODE, PRODUCT_ORDER_NUMBER, PACK_ORDER_NUMBER and NIC_GBP.

Would it be possible to have the data in the same format for January 2023 but with some changes discussed in earlier emails. Could we please have no limits on prescribing practice the same as the previous requests but also with no limits on dispenser.

You subsequently clarified your request with:

What you have suggested would be perfect for what we need - limit to English prescribing, no limit on dispensing and limited to BNF chapter 23

Your clarified request was received on 21 April 2023 and has been dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.


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.

Please note drugs flagged in our database as Schedule 2 and 3 controlled drugs have been excluded from this dataset for information security reasons to prevent the identification of organisations with high levels of controlled drug dispensing.

Whilst Schedule 2 and 3 controlled drugs are excluded from the data search, note that BNF Chapter 23 has no controlled drugs, these drugs would never have appeared in the data provided.

Time Period

January 2023


Data is limited to prescribing within BNF Chapter 23 - Stoma Appliances


Prescribing is limited to GP Practices and Cost Centres in England


Dispensing is limited to England, Wales, Scotland, Guernsey, Alderney, Jersey, and the Isle of Man.


The 11 characters at the beginning of a BNF code which specifies a Product (generic or branded) but not its strength or formulation.


If this is not held in our database then it will be blank.

Please note there are some entries with 0 items, 0 NIC and 0 total quantity values. The data provided in this dataset is split by pack where this results in information for a single prescription item being split across multiple rows of data. E.g for multiple packs - a multiple pack is where the dispensing contractor has endorsed two or more packs to fulfil the prescription.


The cost of the supplied item(s) calculated from the reimbursement price held on the NHSBSA master database. Given in Pounds Stirling.


The number of times a product appears on a prescription form.

Differences to the English Prescribing dataset

The caveats have been created to match the data on the English Prescribing Dataset (EPD), however the EPD gives unidentified doctors as “-“ whilst the NHSBSA Data Warehouse gives this under the Practice Code of 901600.

If you have any queries regarding the data provided, or if you plan on publishing the data, please contact ensuring you quote the above reference. This is important to ensure that the figures are not misunderstood or misrepresented.

If you plan on producing a press or broadcast story based upon the data please contact This is important to ensure that the figures are not misunderstood or misrepresented.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and is subject to NHSBSA copyright. This information is licenced under the terms of the Open Government Licence detailed at:

Should you wish to re-use the information you must include the following statement: “NHSBSA Copyright 2023” This information is licenced under the terms of the Open Government Licence:

Failure to do so is a breach of the terms of the licence.

Information you receive which is not subject to NHSBSA Copyright continues to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the information originated.

Please obtain their permission before reproducing any third party (non NHSBSA Copyright) information.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Contact Information Governance
State active
Last Updated May 18, 2023, 08:58 (UTC)
Created May 18, 2023, 08:54 (UTC)