Prescribing data on pain medications

Treating pain accounts for a large proportion of primary care prescribing. Analgesics alone represent 5.9% of all prescription items in English community prescribing, the fourth highest of any section by prescription items. Opioid analgesics make up the highest spend on community prescriptions for pain management, at over £360 million per year.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), both oral and topical, account for another £142 million.

Prescriptions for non-opioid analgesics have reduced following NHS prescribing guidelines on low-value medicines easily available over the counter. In contrast, prescribing for migraine prevention and treatment is a topical area of interest, with the recent approval of a new class of preventative drugs.

The RxIndices below monitor branded prescribing in both the fentanyl transdermal patches market and the overall opioid analgesics market. Please use the drop down menu to select the RxIndex you would like to see.


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