Table 2

Number and percentage of drug names subject to changes within 1998–2016 PCA data when compared with the current BNF by Chapter

Current chapter code (name)Name/spelling changeNo changeNo matchGrand
1 (Gastrointestinal system)0.0104199.190.91050
2 (Cardiovascular system)1777.2227892.580.32463
3 (Respiratory system)23820.889378.0141.21145
4 (Central nervous system)3418.8353590.7210.53897
5 (Infections)1199.1118490.730.21306
6 (Endocrine system)20313.2132086.0110.71534
7 (Obstetrics, gynaecology and urinary tract disorders)40.750890.7488.6560
8 (Malignant disease and immunosuppression)20.353891.8467.8586
9 (Nutrition and blood)2104.0428181.377614.75267
10 (Musculoskeletal and joint diseases)898.595690.880.81053
11 (Eye)183.0%53287.2609.8610
12 (Ear, nose and oropharynx)163.437378.58618.1475
13 (Skin)221.1177289.51869.41980
14 (Immunological products and vaccines)73.019885.02812.0233
15 (Anaesthesia)155.222978.74716.2291
Grand total14616.519 63887.513516.022 450
  • These name changes include changes in word order, spacing, capitalisation, abbreviation, punctuation (eg, “Califig_(California Syr Of Figs)”/“Califig_California Syr Of Figs”), spelling (eg, “Sulphate”/“Sulfate”), brand name (eg, “Laxoberal_Liq”/“Dulcolax Pico_Liq”) and formulation (eg, “Castor Oil”/“Castor Oil_Liq”). The total count of drug names is reduced compared with table 1 because the same drugs can appear over multiple years but only rarely in multiple Chapters.

  • BNF, British National Formulary; PCA, prescription cost analysis.