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Methadone: Gloucestershire

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 23 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has made an estimate of the number of people being prescribed methadone in Gloucestershire primary care trust in (a) the latest period for which figures are available and (b) each of the last five years. (323348)

The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the following tables.

Figures on the number of prescription items for methadone prescribed in Gloucestershire primary care trust (PCT) and the other PCTs from which it was formed in October 2006

Items

Financial year

PCT

Methadone classification

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-101

Cheltenham and Tewkesbury

Cough suppressant

7

2

n/a

n/a

n/a

Analgesia

13

6

n/a

n/a

n/a

Substance dependence

1,174

706

n/a

n/a

n/a

Cotswold and Vale

Cough suppressant

1

n/a

n/a

n/a

Analgesia

3

4

n/a

n/a

n/a

Substance dependence

628

405

n/a

n/a

n/a

West Gloucestershire

Cough suppressant

n/a

n/a

n/a

Analgesia

48

17

n/a

n/a

n/a

Substance dependence

2,117

1,772

n/a

n/a

n/a

Gloucestershire

Cough suppressant

n/a

4

5

7

5

Analgesia

n/a

19

60

102

76

Substance dependence

n/a

2,623

5,930

6,744

3,730

Total

3,990

5,559

5,995

6,853

3,811

1 April to September.

Notes:

1. Data at PCT level is taken from the ePACT system (Prescribing Analysis and Cost Tool), which stores data for 60 months. Data for the final quarter of 2009 is embargoed until after the publication of the associated National Statistic in April 2010. The ePACT system covers prescriptions prescribed by general practitioners (GPs), nurses, pharmacists and others in England and dispensed in the community in the United Kingdom. For data at PCT level, prescriptions written by a prescriber located in a particular PCT but dispensed outside that PCT will be included in the PCT in which the prescriber is based. Prescriptions written in England but dispensed outside England are included. Prescriptions written in hospitals/clinics that are dispensed in the community, prescriptions dispensed in hospitals, dental prescribing and private prescriptions are not included in PACT data. It is important to note this as some British National Formulary (BNF) sections have a high proportion of prescriptions written in hospitals that are dispensed in the community.

2. The BNF describes three uses for Methadone, as a cough suppressant, for analgesia and for the treatment of substance dependence. Figures for each of these have been given but the classification does not guarantee that it was used for that purpose.

The National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS) figures for the Gloucestershire drugs partnership area on the number of people receiving prescribed opioid substitute treatment (mainly methadone or buprenorphine) from specialist community services or their GP, but not which drug they are being prescribed.

Number

2005-06

1,358

2006-07

1,459

2007-08

1,542

2008-09

1,683

Notes:

1. Figures collected by NDTMS before 2005-06 are not considered robust enough broken down at local level.

2. Figures combine numbers receiving prescribed opioid substitute treatment from a specialist community services or GPs.

3. NDTMS does not record which drug is prescribed (methadone or buprenorphine).

4. Figures for Gloucestershire PCT are not collected centrally but the Trust covers the same area as the drugs partnership.