Thank you for your request for information about the following:
• The number of prescriptions for gabapentin each year from 2015 to 2022
• The number of prescriptions each year between 2015 to 2022 where pregabalin is prescribed alongside an opiate substitute
• The number of prescriptions each year between 2015 to 2022 where pregabalin is prescribed alongside an epilepsy medication
Of the unique identified patients receiving prescriptions for pregabalin, how many prescriptions were initiated for a diagnosis of epilepsy?
Of the unique identified patients receiving prescriptions for pregabalin, how many prescriptions were initiated for a diagnosis of neuropathic pain?
Of the unique identified patients receiving prescriptions for pregabalin, how many prescriptions were initiated for a diagnosis of anxiety?
Your request was clarified with:
Question 1 – ‘Prescriptions’ I mean the number of unique patients receiving prescriptions for pregabalin
Question 3 – ‘Epilepsy medication’ means all antiepileptic drugs
Questions 2 and 3 – ‘Prescribed alongside’ - Whether that patient is being prescribed pregabalin because of an epilepsy diagnosis
Question1, 2, and 3 - Yes just for England, as my understanding is that's the only nation you collect data for
Then you clarified this is to be a request for a similar breakdown as FOI 25530 but for gabapentin.
Your clarified request was received on 21 October 2022 and has been dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
The number of prescriptions each year between 2015 to 2022 where pregabalin is prescribed alongside an opiate substitute
We sought clarification from you regarding this question, however we did not receive a response to this. If you still wish to receive information regarding this, please refer to our e-mail seeking clarification and respond with an answer to that question.
Prescriptions Initiated for Epilepsy
I have established that the information you requested on patient condition is not held by the NHS Business Services Authority. No data is captured relating to the clinical indication a prescription is intended for. Some of these products can be used for a variety of clinical indications and therefore the drugs prescribed may have been prescribed for a different condition.
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 – ePACT2
Data in ePACT2 is sourced from the NHSBSA Information Services 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.
Financial years - 2015/2016 to 2021/2022 (Patient count data)
Monthly April 2019 to August 2022 (Regional data)
April 2019 to August 2022 (aggregated) (Prescriber type data)
The data provided is for prescriptions prescribed in England regardless of where it was dispensed in the community. A date with the letter 'C' in brackets - example (C 01-APR-21) against Region Name indicates that this organisation is closed as of the date stated
This dataset is limited to Gabapentin BNF chemical substance 0408010G0 and is also shown at presentation level. (Includes generic and any equivalent brands).
Items shows the number of times a product appears on a prescription form not the quantity prescribed.
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)
Unidentified additional prescriber relates to prescription forms which contained a prescriber code for either pharmacist, optometrist, physiotherapist, dietician, paramedic, radiographer, and chiropodist/podiatrists that could not be allocated to a practice. For example, the prescriber code was invalid or illegible.
Where patient identifiable figures have been reported they are based on the information captured during the prescription processing activities. Please note, patient details cannot be captured from every prescription form and based on the criteria used for this analysis, patient information (nhs number) was only available for 98.1% of prescription items.
The patient count figures are based on a distinct count of NHS number as captured from the prescription image.
The figures for the number of identifiable patients should not be combined and reported at any other level than provided as this may result in the double-counting of patients. For example, a single patient could appear in the results for multiple financial years.
Patient data is only available from April 2015.
If you have any queries regarding the data provided, or if you plan on publishing the data, please contact email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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:
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