Routine prescribing data
This chapter describes the data which is routinely collected within primary and secondary National Health Service care settings. It examines primary care and hospital prescribing; outlines the current tools available, their uses, benefits and limitations, and deals with a view to the future. The chapter describes the array of prescribing information available and its potential uses. Prescribing statistics are published on behalf of each of the home countries' parliaments and are collated figures covering the country as a total. Before considering the benefits and limitations of using prescribing information, it is important to consider the prescribing measures generated by prescribing information systems. Common physical units, such as grams, litres, number of tablets, and number of items, are used to quantify drug usage. There are two ways of expressing expenditure related to prescribing: list price and reimbursement price. Defined daily doses (DDDs) are a World Health Organization statistical measure of drug consumption. DDDs have been based on international prescribing habits.