FOI 27726



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FOI 27726


I would like to make the following request for data under Freedom of Information Act for data which is held by the NHS Business Services Authority. We would like to request prescribing data for all products which have been initiated by Pharmacists, i.e. Non Medical Independent Prescribers.

We would require data for each calendar month from January 2020 until the latest available data month, to include the following fields:






On 18 October 2022 you clarified the following:

We would like the prescriber code of the pharmacist which has prescribed the product please.

We would like to request prescribing data for all products which have been initiated by Pharmacists, i.e. Non Medical Independent Prescribers.


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

Monthly data from January 2020 to September 2022

Organisation Data

The data provided is for prescriptions prescribed in England by a pharmacist prescriber. No limit to the dispensing organisation has been applied.The data has been provided at the practice level, this is the prescribing organiation the pharmacist prescribers are held under in our database. Pharmacist prescribing is not held with a pharmacy contractor as the prescribing organisation in our systems.

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).


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

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) However, where a product is packed in a 'special container'(see Drug Tariff Part II Clause 10) the pharmacist is not required to split the pack and may supply the number of containers or original packs which provide the quantity nearest to that prescribed. In some circumstances these items show quantity as the number of units supplied i.e. 1 or 2 even though a pack may contain 56 tablets.

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.

Items with multiple elements - Prescriptions items can consist of multiple elements (for example in cases where multiple pack sizes are prescribed, or specially formulated mixtures). This analysis has been conducted at item level so that item count, cost and quantity are assigned to the "main element", that is the one with the highest associated net ingredient cost.  This mirrors ePACT2 methodology for calculating these fields. 

Items with no cost (NIC)

These are accessories/ additional options ordered with lymphoedema garments.

Please note that this request and our response is published on our Freedom of Information disclosure log at:

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: “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 December 12, 2022, 15:51 (UTC)
Created December 12, 2022, 15:42 (UTC)