Published 16 April 2020.
This page was last reviewed and updated 5 May 2020
Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) provides details of the number of items and the Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) of all prescriptions dispensed in the community in England.
The Prescription Cost Analysis publication is a National Statistic release. This means it's been assessed by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) as fully compliant with the Code of Practice for Statistics.
This release is subject to a further assessment by the Office of Statistical Regulation over the next few months.
The release of this publication is the first in a series by us following a public consultation by NHS Digital.
In 2019, the cost of the prescriptions dispensed in the community in England was £9.08 billion. This was an increase of 2.81% (£248 million) from £8.83 billion in 2018.
The overall number of prescription items dispensed in the community in England in 2019 was 1.12 billion. This was an increase of 0.98% (10.9 million) from 1.109 billion in 2018.
Notice of changes to this publication
In line with principle Q2.5: Sound methods, within the Code of Practice for Statistics, we want to be transparent.
We previously told you about the NHSBSA moving to a single database as the source of all drug data we report on. This was to:
- align our data with the NHS Dictionary of Medicines of Devices (dm+d)
- make our data products easier to use
- make our drug information more accurate
- allow for better direct comparisons and linking with other sources of drug data
This has resulted in some changes to the 2019 PCA publication. You can view more information on the impact of these changes in the background information and methodology note (PDF: 325KB).
To help with this transition, and let you view a consistent trend over time as far back as we can, we've reproduced and released the presentation data in this publication from 2014 to 2019 with this release.
Links to other versions
You can view:
- Prescription Cost Analysis for Scotland on the National Services Scotland website
- Prescription Cost Analysis for Wales on the Welsh Assembly Government website
- Prescription Cost Analysis for Northern Ireland on the Health and Social Care Northern Ireland website
You can view:
- previous Prescription Cost Analysis publications produced by NHS Digital (2004 to 2018)
- previous Prescription Cost Analysis publication produced by the Department of Health and Social Care (1998 to 2003)
If you have any questions, comments, or would like more information you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Responsible statistician: Matthew Wilson