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When does `quantity` represent packs? #12
This ticket is an expansion of the discussion in #2.
We know of at least one product which is recorded both by the pack and by the dose. Some products appear consistently to be recorded by the pack. Here are some examples. They are all special containers.
Some examples where they are prescribed both by pack and dose are:
The other problem is we've no real way of knowing if this is happening for non-special-containers, because (for example) we can't know if
referenced this issue
Jan 6, 2017
@sebbacon this goes back to the issue in the other thread. We need to look at the full BNF descriptor - soi for things like GTN spray which comes in two pack sizes, this is clearly expressed in the descriptor:
And an interesting further thought: these, although in effect the same, won't show up as chemical-dose pairs...
Regarding pack sizes, it is inconsistently expressed in the descriptor. I think about 40% of products come in more than one pack size, but only a select few (I make it 191) get their own BNF codes.
But I think you're onto something because special containers that get per-pack codes are in the "consistent" list above.
Perhaps there's supposed to be a rule that all special container pack sizes should get their own BNF code, and should be recorded per-pack against that code. That would make sense.
Then the exceptions we're finding are where a pack-size-specific BNF code has not been issued for a special container, when it should have been.
For exampe, the Climgest comes in 28s and 84s but only has one code; the Fluticasone propionate is 60s, 120s and 150s and has separate codes.
Agreed that it doesn't matter - but I thought I'd capture some examples of where it is consistent as it may help Graham or someone else understand what's going on better. And I think we now have a good hypothesis.
Response from NHS BSA:
The Drug Tariff entry of the Glycopyrronium Brom_Inh Cap 55mcg + Dev that appeared from August 2016 onwards is correct.
But figures historically (prior to Aug16) are incorrect as they were based on Seebri’s as there was no generic available.
ThickenUp powder (190700000BBCJA0)
Climagest 2mg tablets (0604011L0BGAAAH) and Lidocaine 2.5% / Prilocaine 2.5% cream (1502010J0____BY)
Flumetasone 0.02% / Clioquinol 1% ear drops (1201010F0AAAAAA)
1. Retrospective fixes
When you say (for example of Lidocaine 2.5%) "this has been amended on the drug database", what exactly does this mean, i.e. which drug database?
Is quantity information in prescribing data added by your team in preparation for the data release, or is it copied directly from prescriptions and therefore wrong in the original prescriptions (which presumably originate in dm+d)? In other words, it is possible to regenerate historic prescribing data with correct quantities as a result of you having amended the database?
I ask because we are working on an analysis of prescribing data. Does this mean the changes you've made will only be reflected in data released since the change? (and if so, from which date?)
2. Sachets and creams
You mention that the sachets issue that affects ThickenUp has yet to be resolved.
In our analysis, we've found considerable variation in the price paid for cutaneous creams (mainly Aveeno, E45, Sudocrem and Balneum Plus - about £1.7m per month). It's hard to tell if their variation is due to inconsistencies in how quantity is recorded, rather than underlying dispensing variation (as you've indicated is the case for ThickenUp). When you mention "complexities regarding the authoring of the size of sachets in general", is it likely the same issues apply to these cutaneous creams? If so, it seems we should probably drop these from our analysis.
Rather than drop individual BNF codes as we find problems with them, it would be better to know if there's a pattern for knowing what items have potential problems. For example, one hypothesis we developed was that special containers that get unique per-pack-size codes in the BNF are not affected by this issue, whereas special containers which have multiple pack sizes but only one BNF code are affected. Are you able to describe which kinds of products are affected by the problem in general terms like this?
added a commit
May 3, 2017
A new example:
Not sure if this is relevant...
The NCSO list references
dm+d has the following VMPPs:
I'd asked @richiecroker which of the two to match the NCSO entry against, and he said the latter.
referenced this issue
Dec 5, 2017
The latanoprost issue could also apply to other products dispensed in units of non-integer quantities that have to be rounded to whole numbers.
Of course the smaller the