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Prescriptions dispensed in the community

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  • Release date: 24 May 2017
  • Period covered: 2016
  • Next update: 23 May 2018
An annual report which includes data on net ingredient cost and conditions treated.

Key points

  • The number of prescription items dispensed in the community increased from 79.5 million in 2015 to 80.3 million in 2016 (up by 1.0%), equivalent to 25.9 items per head.
  • The net ingredient cost of all prescriptions dispensed in the community has decreased by 2.7% since 2015, to £578.0 million in 2016.
  • Wales dispensed the highest number of prescription items per head of population - 25.9 compared to 21.9 in Northern Ireland, 20.2 in England and 19.1 in Scotland.
  • Medicines for the treatment of the cardiovascular system make up the largest group in terms of prescription items (23.5 million), but drugs for the treatment of the central nervous system make up the largest group in terms of cost (£121.6 million).
  • Across all British National Formulary (BNF) chapters, Omeprazole was the most commonly prescribed chemical with 2.65 million items dispensed in 2016.

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


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