FOI 27650



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 27650

Thank you for your request for information about the following:

Could I request the same information supplied under FOI request 25464, with the following restrictions.

1) only for BNF code starting 2128

2) for all available months in 2022

3) only for the first prescription issued to a patient who have never received a prescription for any of these items in any other time periods Could I also request the Practice ID from which the prescription originated?

On 12 September 2022 you clarified your request as follows:

The limitation of the data only being held from 2015 onwards is fine. Based on our experience the chances of a patient getting both a paper prescription and an EPS in the same month are fairly remote, and therefore only going down to the month of dispensing would be sufficient for our needs.

Your clarified request was received on 12 September 2022 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 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

All prescribing from January 2015 – December 2021 was used to find prior prescribing, with first prescribing data between January 2022 and June 2022

Organisation Data

The data is for prescriptions dispensed in the community in England.

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).

Drugs and appliances

Limited to BNF Section 2128, Anal Irrigation System

Only for the first prescription issued to a patient who have never received a prescription for any of these items in any other time periods

The NHSBSA does not hold data showing a patient’s first prescribing of a given drug. This has been calculated by excluding all patients with prescribing in BNF Section 2128 in the data Warehouse prior to 2022. Patients first prescribing has been found using the prescribed date recorded on a prescription. If this has not been captured during processing (usually on a paper prescription) then the end of the month the prescription was claimed to be dispensed in is used. For a further tie break the first prescription is chosen by internal alphanumeric coding for prescriber, then dispenser, then drug/appliance name. From this the first prescribing the prescriber, dispenser and drug are shown.

Identified Patients

Prescriptions are only included in the data if an NHS number was captured during processing so patients with prescribing prior to 2022 can be excluded. For the whole time period 88.69% of items on prescriptions within the limits of the dataset had an identified patient. For the 2022 data 97.49% of items on prescriptions had an identified patient.

Total Quantity

Total quantity is the number of items multiplied by the quantity prescribed. e.g. 2 items prescribed, one with a quantity of 2 and one with a quantity of 3, the total quantity would show as 5 (1 item x quantity of 2) + (1 item x quantity of 3)

Net Ingredient Cost (NIC (£))

Net Ingredient cost (NIC) is the basic price of a drug as stated in Part II Clause 8 of the Drug Tariff but please note that where a price concession for items listed in Part VIII of the Drug Tariff has been agreed between the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee the NIC will reflect the concession price rather than the Drug Tariff price.

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: “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
State active
Last Updated October 10, 2022, 14:53 (UTC)
Created October 10, 2022, 13:04 (UTC)