A Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) considers the health needs of the population and the provision of pharmaceutical services, and therefore, whether there are any potential gaps in pharmaceutical service delivery. Pharmaceutical services are generally either services supplied by community pharmacies or by dispensaries in GP practices.

A PNA is used by NHS England in its consideration of new pharmacy applications, and by commissioners of pharmaceutical services. The PNA for County Durham links to the health needs identified in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and the priorities in the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Health and Wellbeing Boards must produce an updated PNA every 3 years or sooner if there are significant changes to pharmaceutical services that are relevant to the granting of future pharmacy applications (this can also be accomplished by the publication of a supplementary statement).