FOI 22290



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]

FOI 22290


Good afternoon, Under the Freedom of Information Act I am requesting information on the number of prescriptions of tramadol and co-codamol from 2016 to the most recent date available in 2021. Additionally I am requesting this data be broken down by gender. Thank you.


A copy of the information is attached.

Time Period

January 2016 - December 2021 (latest available)

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 provided is based on items prescribed and dispensed in England only.

Data Contents

Data shows the number of items prescribed for Tramadol hydrochloride (BNF Chemical substance 040702040) and Co-codamol (Codeine phosphate/paracetamol) (BNF Chemical substance 0407010F0).

The data is broken down by month and recorded gender of the patient. Note that for gender, the value 'U' includes unknown (not recorded) and not specified (recorded).


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


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 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.

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 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

Field Value
Contact Information Governance
Version 1.0
State active
Last Updated February 28, 2022, 16:00 (UTC)
Created February 28, 2022, 15:58 (UTC)