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Prescription Cost Analysis – England – 2021/22

Published 9 June 2022.


Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) provides details of the costs and volumes of all prescriptions dispensed in the community in England.

We consulted on the content and methodology used in this publication during winter 2020/21. View our response to this consultation.

As a result of this consultation, we have made changes to the methodology used in these statistics and expanded their content. You can view more information on these changes in the Background Information and Methodology note that accompanies this release.

The Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) publication is a National Statistic release. National Statistics status means that PCA meets the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality, and public value and complies with all aspects of the Code of Practice for Statistics.

The designation of this publication as a National Statistic was confirmed in May 2021 following an assessment by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR). You can read more about this confirmation and the assessment of these statistics on the OSR website.

Key findings

  • The cost of prescription items dispensed in the community in England was £9.69 billion. This was a 0.87% increase of £83.7 million from £9.61 billion in 2020/21.
  • The number of prescription items dispensed in the community in England was 1.14 billion. This was a 2.58% increase of 28.7 million items from 1.11 billion in 2020/21.
  • Atorvastatin was the most dispensed drug in England in 2021/22 with 53.4 million items, while Apixaban was the drug with the highest cost of £401 million.
  • FreeStyle Libre 2 Sensor kit was the presentation with the largest absolute increase in cost between 2020/21 and 2021/22 of £69.8 million – from £2.84 million to £72.6 million.

Resource list

Prescription Cost Analysis England 2021/22 - Statistical Summary Narrative (HTML)

National Summary Tables - Financial year (Excel: 4.8MB)

National Summary Tables - Calendar year (Excel: 4.8MB)

STP Summary Tables - Financial year (Excel: 92MB)

STP Summary Tables - Calendar year (Excel: 92MB)

Additional Tables (Excel: 104KB)

Presentation data 2014 to 2021

Background information and methodology note (ODT: 276KB)

User engagement strategy (ODT: 228KB)

Pre-release access list (ODT: 217KB)


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Responsible statistician: Graham Platten