The report covers all prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists (including supermarket pharmacies) during 2017.

Chart showing the number of prescription items dispensed in the community increased from 43.7 million in 2000 to 80.4 million in 2017.

Key points

  • The number of prescription items dispensed in the community increased from 80.3 million in 2016 to 80.4 million in 2017 (up by 0.2%), equivalent to 25.8 items per head.
  • The net ingredient cost of all prescriptions dispensed in the community in 2017 was £578.1 million, very similar to the cost in 2016.
  • Wales dispensed the highest number of prescription items per head of population - 25.8 compared to 22.3 in Northern Ireland, 20.0 in England and 19.2 in Scotland.
  • Medicines for the treatment of the cardiovascular system make up the largest group in terms of prescription items (23.4 million), but drugs for the treatment of the central nervous system make up the largest group in terms of cost (£123.6 million).
  • Across all British National Formulary (BNF) chapters, Omeprazole was the most commonly prescribed chemical with 2.6 million items dispensed in 2017.

Note

In addition to these annual statistics, monthly data are published by NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership.

Updates to this report have been postponed. We are currently reviewing our prescribing releases (‘Prescriptions by GPs’ and ‘Prescriptions dispensed in the community’) to improve the coherence and developing better ways for users to explore the data. A new date will be announced in due course.

Reports

Prescriptions dispensed in the community, 2017
, file type: PDF, file size: 964 KB

PDF
964 KB
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Explanatory notes for the prescription cost analysis, 2017
, file type: PDF, file size: 206 KB

PDF
206 KB
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Data

Datasets and interactive tools

Prescription cost analysis: individual preparations, 2017
, file type: ODS, file size: 2 MB

ODS
2 MB
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Prescription cost analysis: data totals, 2017
, file type: ODS, file size: 787 KB

ODS
787 KB
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Prescription cost analysis: summary data, 2000-2017
, file type: ODS, file size: 500 KB

ODS
500 KB
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Prescription cost analysis: individual preparations, 2000-2017
, file type: ODS, file size: 26 MB

ODS
26 MB
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Contact

Craig Thomas

Tel: 0300 025 1646

Media

Tel: 0300 025 8099