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Prescribing Open Data Dashboard

Prescribing and Medicines

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Prescribing Open Data Dashboard

This dashboard allows exploration of the Monthly Prescribing Activity Data file. It presents four views each asking different questions of the data file. You can use the various buttons to interact with the data. Some information on each view is provided below the dashboard.

About this dashboard.

This dashboard uses a summarised version of our Monthly Prescribing Activity Data file in order to provide a high-level preview of the data we publish. We have matched the data with the reference files signposted from our guidance documents to provide extra intelligence. Owing to the sheer size of the original file only a subset of the data is presented - those seeking more detailed or complete information should download the Monthly Prescribing Activity Data files.

Expenditure and cost information in this dashboard is based on Gross Ingredient Cost (GIC) unless otherwise stated. This is the list price or basic NHS reimbursement price for the product. However, this may not reflect the actual cost to the NHS, as that can include discounts and confidential rebate schemes that exist for some medicines included in any published reports.

Practice List Sizes are used throughout the Dashboard to normalise measures to a “per registered patient” figure. This is in lieu of the more accurate “per treated patient” figure which uses confidential patient-level data and is therefore unsuitable for open publication.

Null values are included within the Monthly Prescribing Activity Data file as the data is presented “warts and all”. Null values can occur in two fields: BNF Chapter code (and by extension BNF Section) denoting values that have not been linked with a specific drug, and Practice code, denoting values that have not been linked with a specific GP Practice. Also to note are those Practice codes which do not match with those provided in the GP Practice reference file (usually because they are not “standard” GP practices) - these are excluded from any view which references specific practices.

What are the highest cost therapeutic areas in terms of prescriptions in the community?

This sheet shows the top 3 BNF Sections in each of the top 5 BNF Chapters, as measured in GIC. NHSScotland-wide as well as Health Board views are available. It includes ALL data within the file.

How do individual GP Practices contribute to overall prescribing by GP Practices?

This sheet shows a Pareto chart describing individual GP Practices as contributors to overall prescribing. Bars show GIC by each practice (coloured according to whether they are high, low or average prescribers), whilst the blue line shows each bar adding up to 100% of the total. Controls can move the reference lines to show the relationship between practice and total prescribing. Prescribing by practices not included in ISD’s GP Practice Reference file is excluded from this sheet, as is all non-GP prescribing, therefore this sheet describes only prescribing in “standard” GP Practices.

What is the variation in prescribing within BNF Chapters among the 10 biggest practices?

This sheet allows in-depth exploration of prescribing within BNF Chapters, focussing on the 10 biggest practices by Practice List Size across either NHSScotland or individual health boards. GIC per patient and as a % of total chapter GIC are presented for individual BNF Sections for each GP Practice. Prescribing by practices not included in ISD’s GP Practice Reference file is excluded from this sheet, as is all non-GP prescribing.

Where are the most prescriptions being written?

This is the only view to use Items as a measure. Number of Items per registered patient is less standardised than GIC as it can vary with local prescribing behaviour and policy (for example with repeat prescriptions, or with Clinic vs. Community prescribing), as well as with disease prevalence and other factors. You can click on any health board on the left to show only the 10 top practices for that board on the right, to switch between looking at Scotland-wide and Health Board-specific variation in prescribing of BNF Chapters. Postcode sector is used to locate practices therefore locations are not precise and clustering will occur (particularly in the island health boards).


Further Information

Please see also our Summary Statistics dashboard , and our Open Data files , providing prescribing data at GP practice and individual drug-level.

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