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Prescription Cost Analysis

Prescription Cost Analysis


The Business Services Organisation (BSO) is the provider of the data. Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) data is obtained from the BSO’s prescribing and dispensing information systems. The data covers all prescriptions including dental, those from out of hours surgeries, non-medical (ie Nurse, Pharmacist, Physiotherapist and Optometrist), hospice or those prescriptions prescribed in other parts of the UK but dispensed in NI and submitted to BSO for payment.

The data includes all prescribed medicines, dressings and appliances that are dispensed each month. If a patient does not take a prescription to a dispenser and get it provided to them, then the data will not be included in the dataset. Private prescriptions are not included in the data. Post-payment adjustments are included.

For some years, PCA data has been supplied in two versions, one at Northern Ireland level and another broken down by Local Commissioning Group (LCG).  Where the information is supplied at LCG level, the data will cover all prescriptions, (including those from out of hours surgeries and non medical prescribers employed and based within a GP practice) with the exception of dental prescriptions, hospice items and those prescriptions prescribed in other parts of the UK but dispensed in NI and submitted to BSO for payment.

The release of the data is dependent on the completion of pharmacy payment processes but will be published here on or before 1st March each year.

In 2022, the PCA was approved as a National Statistic by the UK Statistics Authority.

Current Annual Publication

Date published: 29th February 2024

Date of next release: February 2025

The statistics will be released on this page at 9.30am.  If you have issues accessing the information it can also be found at

Annual Datasets

Please note that due to the implementation of a new website, some links in historical reports may be out of date. Users are advised to use the links in the most recent report.

Excel Icon  PCA 2020 Excel Icon  PCA 2020 – Breakdown by LCG
Excel Icon  PCA 2019 Excel Icon  PCA 2019 – Breakdown by LCG
Excel Icon  PCA 2018 Excel Icon  PCA 2018 – Breakdown by LCG
Excel Icon  PCA 2017 Excel Icon  PCA 2017 – Breakdown by LCG
Excel Icon  PCA 2016 No breakdown available
Excel Icon  PCA 2015 No breakdown available
Excel Icon  PCA 2014 Excel Icon  PCA 2014 – Breakdown by LCG
Excel Icon  PCA 2013 Excel Icon  PCA 2013 – Breakdown by LCG
Excel Icon  PCA 2012 Excel Icon  PCA 2012 – Breakdown by LCG
Excel Icon  PCA 2011 Excel Icon  PCA 2011 – Breakdown by LCG


If you are a user of the Prescription Cost Analysis publication and would like to receive regular updates on future publications or provide feedback on how the publication could better meet your needs, please email us at

Policy Documentation

A Background Quality Report has been developed to support the publication of BSO Official Statistics.

Attribution Statement

Any party who processes (i.e. copies, publishes, adapts or otherwise uses in any means) the data provided by the Business Services Organisation on this website, covered by the Open Government Licence (OGL), is required to acknowledge the Business Services Organisation as the source of the data in any such processes.