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FOI release

FOI – 2023-000454 Unlicensed Medicines (HTML)

Published on 18 December 2023

Date received – 06 December 2023 | Date responded – 18 December 2023


This is a freedom of information request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Please provide the following information you have pertaining to NHS Trust unlicensed medicine expenditure.

What is the total value of spend by your NHS Trust on unlicensed medication (i.e. Special Order, Drug Tariff Special Order, Part VIIID Drug Tariff Special Order) that have a BNF liquid formulation (e.g. liquid, solution, suspension)? Please provide this information on a volume and value basis for the following years (please fill in the tables below).

Note: Value of spend to mean either net ingredient cost or actual cost. Please state which you have used below. Actual cost would be the total cost to NHS commissioners whereas NIC is the cost at list price excluding VAT.

Do you outsource the manufacturing of liquid unlicensed products?

If no to question 3 (use of outsourcing providers), what proportion of the products that you manufacture in-house are aseptically compounded rather than terminally sterilised?

If yes to question 3 (use of outsourcing providers), what is the total value of spend by provider? Please provide this information for the following years (please fill in the tables below).


I refer to your freedom of information request that we received on 06 December 2023 requesting the following information.

I can advise you that we have now completed the search of our records and can provide you with the following information:

Under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act, 2002 (FOISA) an organisation does not have to provide the requested information if it does not hold that information. NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) does not hold this information. NSS does not dispense/supply medicines to the public and has no expenditure on liquid formulations of unlicensed medicines. We provide national strategic support services and expert advice to Scotland’s health sector.

I trust you will find the information of assistance and if you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of how we have dealt with your request, you can make representations to us asking us to review the handling of your request.

If you require any further information, please contact Head of Information and Cyber Security, Digital and Security within 40 working days of the date of this correspondence.



NHS National Services Scotland
Gyle Square
1 South Gyle Crescent
EH12 9EB

If after a review you are still unhappy, you also have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner, who can be contacted at Kinburn Castle, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS, or via their application form.

National Services Scotland (NSS) is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. You can view all FOI responses within our FOI Publications repository.