There remains a paucity of data highlighting the cost and prescribing rates in allergic rhinitis AR and rhinosinusitis RS throughout the UK. We present data depicting current trends in expenditure and rates of drugs prescribed in AR and RS across CCG’s in England.
Data covering all NHS community prescriptions dispensed for topical drugs used in nasal allergy (BNF chapter 12.2.1) and oral antihistamines were analysed using OpenPrescribing beta software. Subsequently, charts depicting the number of items dispensed and expenditure per 1000 patients for each CCG were analysed for relevant trends.
5-year trend in topical drugs prescribed in nasal allergy remains static with peak rates of prescription in high pollen seasons and a total expenditure of £40 million (average monthly expenditure of £3.1 million across CCG’s) in 2016. Consistently, CCG’s of all major city areas had the lowest prescribing rates (8.44-9.44/1000 patients) whereas CCG’s in East-Yorkshire, the East Midlands and East Anglia showed the highest rates of prescribing compared to the rest of England, regardless off pollen season/average pollen count (9.44-18.45/1000 patients). The same geographic variation was seen in rates of oral antihistamine prescription.
Our recent data highlights the significant prescribing costs related to AR and RS in England. Using prescription rates as a surrogate marker for disease, we reveal a trend of specific White-British rural areas in eastern England displaying a chronic perennial disease process, not seen in cities nor central and west England. This geographical variation should be investigated further to allow targeted effective treatment for AR and RS.