Freedom of Information Disclosure Log

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


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


Thank you for your request for information about the following:

‘Hello, please see recent completed FOI request at Could I please also request data on prescription switches (from exempt to chargeable, and chargeable to exempt) for both community pharmacies and dispensing doctors, for the time period from January 2022 up to the most recent month for which data is available? If this could be formatted like the linked FOI response, but with an extra column for contractor ODS code, then this would be much appreciated. Thank you’

Your request was received on 24 October 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 is limited to prescriptions dispensed by English Dispensing Doctor account and English Pharmacy accounts.

Time period

Monthly data from January 2022 to August 2023.

Switch Status indicates whether a form was switched or not

Charge status indicates whether a form was chargeable or not. Where switched the charge status is the new charge status.

Items shows the number of times a product appears on a prescription form not the quantity prescribed.

Charge status and switch status are held at prescription form level and this analysis was done at this level.

Please note the data includes some items such as contraceptives which may be on a chargeable form but are exempt from charges.

In these cases, the NHSBSA applies a charge of £0 to the item.

Please note data for 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.

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 Information Services Data Warehouse, 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
Version 1.0
State active
Last Updated November 20, 2023, 12:37 (UTC)
Created November 20, 2023, 12:33 (UTC)