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]



I am requesting to know if you have a database of pharmacies that only operate online, and therefore are known as online pharmacies.

If so, I am requesting a spreadsheet with the following information:

Name of pharmacy

Location of premises (postcode/address)

Number of items dispensed per month

Contact information such as pharmacy email

On 12 June 2024 you clarified your response as follows:

Yes I was referring to distance selling pharmacies. Any pharmacy that fill’s prescriptions or sells OTC/P medicine online (e-commerce) in any degree.

Prescribing country would beneficial too.

Last 12 months is more than fine.


I can confirm that the NHSBSA holds the information you have requested and a copy of the information and notes explaining it is attached.

Please read the below notes to ensure correct understanding of the data.

Items dispensed by Distance Selling Pharmacies

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: ePACT2

Data in ePACT2 is sourced from the NHSBSA Data Warehouse and is derived from products prescribed on prescriptions and dispensed in the Community. The data captured from prescription processing is used to calculate reimbursement and remuneration. It includes items prescribed in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Guernsey / Alderney, Jersey, and Isle of Man which have been dispensed in the community in England. English prescribing that has been dispensed in Wales, Scotland, Guernsey / Alderney, Jersey, and Isle of Man is also included.

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

May 2023-April 2024 (aggregated monthly). Please note that April 2024 is currently the most recent month of prescribing data available.

Organisation Data

The data is for items prescribed in England and dispensed anywhere in the UK.


This dataset is limited to the number of items dispensed by distance selling pharmacies, aggregated by month.

Pharmacy Name and Address

Indicates the registered pharmacy name and its address details. Pharmacies that have closed during the data’s time period have been included within the data- these pharmacies are indicated by their date of closure being listed alongside the pharmacy name- For example- (C 13-Jul-24).

Distance Selling Pharmacies (DSPs)

Pharmacies that are recorded by the NHSBSA as distance selling have been included within the data. DSPs include mail order and internet pharmacies that remotely manage patients' medicine logistics and distribution.

Dispensed Country

Indicates the country in which the item was dispensed.


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

Contact Details

Please note that contact details can be sourced from the following link:

Internet pharmacies -

In addition, pharmacy email addresses can be derived by using the following formula:

‘Pharmacy.[enter ODS code]’

For example,

Data Queries

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.

Reusing the data and copyright

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 2024” 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 July 10, 2024, 14:52 (UTC)
Created July 10, 2024, 14:52 (UTC)