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ISD Scotland better information, better decisions, better health

Community Dispensing

Prescribing and Medicines

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Community Dispensing

Latest Publications

Published: 29 August 2017
Prescribing Statistics - Dispenser Payments and Prescription Cost Analysis Report
Publication Summary Download pdf file [254kb]
Full Report Download pdf file [713kb]
Published: 28 March 2017
Prescribing Statistics - Minor Ailments Service
Publication Summary Download pdf file [157kb]
Full Report Download pdf file [429kb]
Published: 28 June 2016
Dispensing Reimbursement, Remuneration and Volume
Publication Summary Download pdf file [210kb]
Full Report Download pdf file [474kb]

Welcome to the NHSScotland Community Dispensing section of Information Services Division (ISD) website.

The Prescribing Team within ISD maintains a detailed database of all NHS prescriptions dispensed in the community in Scotland. The information is supplied by Practitioner and Counter Fraud Services (P&CFS) and is sourced through an established centrally managed national payment system.

Further information on Practitioner Services can be obtained by contacting or by visiting the Practitioner Services website.

All these prescriptions are dispensed by community pharmacies, dispensing doctors and a small number of specialist appliance suppliers.

These data are augmented with information on prescriptions written in Scotland that were dispensed elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Between 2007 and April 2014, these data are incomplete due to changes in English processing of prescriptions.

GPs write the vast majority of these prescriptions, with the remainder written by other authorised prescribers such as nurses and dentists. Also included are prescriptions written in hospitals that are dispensed in the community. Medicines dispensed within hospitals are not included in this dataset. For more information about medicines dispensed in hospitals, please see the Hospital Medicines Utilisation Database (HMUD).

Data on Community Dispensing are used for a wide variety of purposes which include: health services research, performance management and providing information to support health promotion. They also support various NHSScotland initiatives such as information support for clinical governance, national audits and medicines management.

Use the left-hand navigation links to access further information on prescribing and dispensing.

For further information please contact us at


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