Community pharmacies in England 2006-2019

Since 2006 the number of community pharmacies in England has generally increased. The number of pharmacies had been above 11.6 thousand since 2013, before dropping to 11,539 community pharmacies in 2018/19.

Dispensing numbers

In 2017/18, there were over one billion prescription items dispensed from pharmacies in England. Although this is a slight decrease from the preceding period, the amount of prescriptions dispensed has increased greatly in the ten-year period displayed. Almost 2.3 thousand pharmacies dispensed an average of over ten thousand items a month in 2017/18, although the average number of items dispensed per month per pharmacy was approximately 7.2 thousand in this year.

What is being dispensed?

The therapeutic class with the highest total of prescription items dispensed was for the cardiovascular system at over 324 million drugs, followed by drugs for the central nervous system which had approximately 210 million items dispensed. The single leading drug dispensed, in 2017/18, was Atorvastatin which treats those with high cholesterol to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Number of community pharmacies in England from 2006/07 to 2018/19

Number of pharmacies
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Release date

November 2019


United Kingdom (England)

Survey time period

2006/07 to 2018/19

Supplementary notes

Number of community pharmacies at 31st March.

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Statistics on "Pharmacy care in the United Kingdom"

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