5 Citations (SciVal)


BACKGROUND: The objective of this work to calculate prescribed quantity of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in prescription medications for human use, to facilitate research on the prediction of amount of API released to the environment and create an open-data tool to facilitate spatiotemporal and long-term prescription trends for wider usage.

DESIGN: We have developed an R package, PrAna to calculate the prescribed quantity (in kg) of an APIs by postcode using England's national level prescription data provided by National Health Service, for the years 2015-2018. Datasets generated using PrAna can be visualized in a real-time interactive web-based tool, PrAnaViz to explore spatiotemporal and long-term trends. The visualisations can be customised by selecting month, year, API, and region.

RESULTS: PrAnaViz's targeted API approach is demonstrated with the visualisation of prescribed quantities of 14 APIs in the Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) region during 2018. Once the APIs list is loaded, the back end retrieves relevant data and populates the graphs based on user-defined data features in real-time. These plots include the prescribed quantity of APIs over a year, by month, and individual API by month, general practice, postcode, and medicinal form. The non-targeted API approach is demonstrated with the visualisation of clarithromycin prescribed quantities at different postcodes in the BANES region.

CONCLUSION: PrAna and PrAnaViz enables the analysis of spatio-temporal and long-term trends with prescribed quantities of different APIs by postcode. This can be used as a support tool for policymakers, academics and researchers in public healthcare, and environmental scientist to monitor different group of pharmaceuticals emitted to the environment and for prospective risk assessment of pharmaceuticals in the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Wastewater Fingerprinting for Public Health Assessment (ENTRUST) project funded by Wessex Water Services Ltd and EPSRC IAA (Grant No. EP/R51164X/1, ENTRUST IAA). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Open Access funding enabled and organized by University of Bath.


  • Health informatics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Prescription
  • Prescription data
  • R
  • R package

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics


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