Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation replies to Chris Roebuck, Chief Statistician, NHS Digital.

Dear Chris

Thank you for your letter of 20th June setting out your consultation and wider plans regarding prescribing and medicine statistics. I welcome your efforts to consider how to achieve the greatest public value in the context of your overall portfolio of official statistics.

Following user engagement about Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community, you have determined that user needs would be better met by publishing the data earlier, as part of the Prescription Cost Analysis series, and ceasing the later publication. I welcome this commitment to improvement and the transparency you are demonstrating in making us and your users aware of the proposed changes, in line with the principles in the Code of Practice for Statistics.

I am pleased that this rationalisation will provide the opportunity to also make improvements to the timely release of other data series, such as to bring forward the General Pharmaceutical Services publication.

We look forward to seeing details of all your forthcoming changes made available through your formal response to the consultation which you plan to publish in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Humpherson