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: 23rd February 2023

Date of next release: February 2024

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

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


Annual Datasets

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.