FOI 20248



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FOI 20248


Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like to request the following:

  1. The number of controlled drug prescriptions dispensed from private prescribers for schedule 2 and schedule 3 opioids for each BNF chemical code aggregated at the Area Team level for England in quarterly splits from Jan 2019 to Dec 2021 (BNF opioid chemical codes: 0407010F0, 0407010M0, 0407010N0, 0407010Q0, 0407020B0, 0407020C0, 0407020D0, 0407020E0, 0407020K0, 0407020G0, 0407020H0, 0407020A0, 040702050, 0407020L0, 0407020M0, 0407020P0, 0407020Q0, 040702020, 0407020Y0, 0407020Z0, 0407020AF, 0407020AD, 0407020AB, 0407020T0, 0407020U0, 0407020V0, 0407020W0, 0407020AG, 040702040, 0410030B0, 0410030A0, 0410030C0)


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 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.


NHS Prescription Services only captures private prescribing information for controlled drugs Schedule 2 & 3 (Misuse of Drugs regulation 2001) for reporting and monitoring purposes only.

Reference Drug Tariff Part XX - Requisitions and Private Prescriptions for Controlled Drugs

Time Period

Quarterly data from January 2020 to November 2021

Organisation Data

The data provided is for prescriptions prescribed in England Please note; A date with the letter 'C' in brackets - example (C 01-FEB-18) against an organisation name indicates that this organisation is closed as of the date stated From the 1st April 2020 a new organisation structure was implemented by the NHSBSA as agreed by NHS England.

Changes included 42 sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) replacing 27 area teams

Where some prescriptions were prescribed by an NHS prescriber, but submitted by a private pharmacy to the NHSBSA, the prescriptions will be allocated against the latest NHS organisation (STP) the NHS prescriber is held under in our organisation database.

Unidentified Doctors totals contain all prescribing which cannot be allocated to an individual prescriber. This has been included for completeness of data.

BNF Code

The BNF Code is a 15 digit code in which the first seven digits are allocated according to the categories in the BNF and the last 8 digits represent the medicinal product, form, strength and the link to the generic equivalent product. NHS Prescription Services has created pseudo BNF chapters, which are not published, for items not included in BNF chapters 1 to 15. The majority of such items are dressings and appliances which NHS Prescription Services has classified into four pseudo BNF chapters (20 to 23).

Data was found for the following BNF chemical substance codes.

0407020B0 0407020K0 0407020H0 0407020A0 040702050 0407020M0 0407020Q0 0407020AF 0407020AD 0407020V0 0407020AG 040702040 0410030B0 0410030A0 0410030C0

For this request no data was found allocated to the below BNF chemical substance codes.

0407010F0 0407010M0 0407010N0 0407010Q0 0407020C0 0407020D0 0407020E0 0407020G0 0407020L0 0407020P0 040702020 0407020Y0 0407020Z0 0407020AB 0407020T0 0407020U0 0407020W0

Private Controlled Drug Items

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

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: “ePACT2, NHSBSA Copyright 2022” 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

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Contact Information Governance
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Last Updated February 16, 2022, 15:10 (UTC)
Created February 10, 2022, 11:38 (UTC)