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Mental health medicines prescribed on the rise in England


Mental health medicines prescribed on the rise in England

Twenty-two million antidepressants were prescribed to nearly seven million patients in England between July and September this year, according to official figures released today which reveal the number of people using medicines for mental health conditions is on the rise.

A report by the NHS Business Services Authority said 6.8 million identified patients were prescribed antidepressant items, a 1.5 per cent increase in items and a less than one percentage point rise in patients compared with the previous quarter. The cost of prescribed antidepressant items was £56 million.

NHSBSA’s data also showed 3.4 million hypnotics and anxiolytics items were prescribed to about one million identified patients at a cost of £28 million, a one per cent and 1.4 per cent increase in items and patients respectively.

The number of antipsychotic items prescribed increased by 1.3 per cent to 3.4 million items and the number of patients rose slightly to 650,000. Prescribing of central nervous system stimulants and drugs for ADHD items increased by less than one percentage point to 720,000 items while the number of identified patients went up by 2.6 per cent to 210,000.

The number of items prescribed for dementia increased by 3.1 per cent to 1.1 million and identified patients rose by 2.3 per cent to 250,000 at a cost of £6.8 million.

Despite increases in identified patients and items, the total net ingredient cost (NIC) for antidepressants, hypnotics and anxiolytics, and antipsychotics decreased. The NIC of antidepressants had the largest change with a 6.8 per cent decrease.

This story was originally published by Independent Community Pharmacist.



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