Freedom of Information Disclosure Log

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



Excess SABA prescribing Using methodology for Respiratory Dashboard Catalyst Definition: Identifying the proportion of patients prescribed preventer inhalers without antimuscarinics who were also prescribed 3/6/9/12 or more SABA inhalers Figures are reported for a rolling 12 month period Reporting Level: Practice PCN Sub ICB ICB Level Numerator: No patients prescribed 3/6/9/12 or more SABA inhalers in a 12 month period who were also prescribed a preventer inhaler but not prescribed an antimuscarinic Denominator: No of patients prescribed a preventer inhaler but not an antimuscarinic Methodology:Numerator divided by denominator presented as a percentage please share numerator and denominator Periods:Presented Monthly FY2020 FY2021 FY2022

Your request was received on 29 November 2023 and has been dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

On 5 January you clarified the following:

Please can I request the following:

• 3+, 6+, 9+ and 12+ SABA inhalers


The data is too large to send via email. Please visit the open data portal on the below link to receive a copy of this information.

Data Source:

NHSBSA Information Services Data Warehouse

Time Period:

April 2020 to March 2023 inclusive; each data points reflects prescribing in the 12 months to the reporting period.


The data shows the total number of unique patients at each reporting level, who: were prescribed 3 or more, 6 or more, 9 or more and 12 or more SABA inhalers (see below) in a practice / cost centre under the organisational unit shown in the 12 months to the reporting month (the column "Numerator patient count"); and those prescribed a preventer but not an antimuscarinic, in the same practice in which the numerator is measured, in the same 12-month period (the column "Denominator patient count").

Organisational structures:

The data is shown for items prescribed in GP practices and cost centres in sub ICB locations (SICBLs) in England, and dispensed anywhere within the community.


In the numerator, data is shown for prescribing of short-acting beta-agonist (SABA) inhalers; in the denominator, data is shown for prescribing of preventer inhalers and antimuscarinic products. A full list of medicines considered for inclusion can be found alongside the datasets, in the Excel spreadsheet.

Patient data:

Data is shown for patients who could be identified by means of a valid NHS number on the prescription form, and those for whom a valid age was captured on the form. Prescribing for patients who do not meet these criteria has been excluded. No personal identifiable data has been included in this release. Patient totals are calculated uniquely for each reporting period and organisational unit; patients may appear under more than one category, so patient totals must not be combined, or double counting will occur.

Data coverage:

For all prescription items issued during the reporting periods included in the data, 99.7% of items can be attributed to an identifiable patient. For medicines included in this analysis, the rate is 99.8%.


NHSBSA Prescription Services process prescriptions and information is then used to make payments to pharmacists and appliance contractors (in England) for prescriptions dispensed in primary care settings. This involves processing approximately 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 users.


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

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Contact Information Governance
State active
Last Updated July 9, 2024, 14:24 (UTC)
Created January 29, 2024, 15:58 (UTC)