NHS Antidepressant Prescriptions Double in a Decade : Over the past decade, the number of antidepressants being prescribed and dispensed in English communities has more than doubled, according to the latest figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
Their data also revealed that antidepressants accounted for the biggest rise in the number of prescribed items in any therapeutic category last year, with 61 million antidepressants prescribed.
Thatâs a rise of 6.8% from the previous year and an increase of 107.6% since 2005, as stated in the HSCIC report âPrescriptions Dispensed in the Community 2005-2015.â
By comparison, the amount of antibiotic prescription items dispensed went down by 5.6% to 39.4 million last year from 41.7 million in 2014. This was the second biggest fall in any therapeutic area, just short of the 5.7% fall in prescription items dispensed for oral nutrition.
Overall, last year saw more than 1.08 billion prescription items dispensed, which is a rise of 1.8% on 2014 and more than double the figure of 10 years ago.
In 2015, the net ingredient cost for all prescriptions dispensed was over £9 billion (9.27) which is 4.7% more than 2014 and an increase of 16.8% on 2015.
There was also a 10.3% rise in the cost of drugs to treat diabetes, which accounted for the highest NHS drug cost for the ninth year in a row, while the quantity of items dispensed to treat the disease rose by 5.1% between 2014 and 2015.
Last year saw 89.7% of prescribed items dispensed for free as patients were exempt from prescription charges, compared with 89.9% in 2014. Of those exempted from payment, 60.4% were people aged 60 and over.
Meanwhile, last month it was revealed that the NHS bill for prescription drugs rose by nearly 7% in a year, while the bill for medication and other items dispensed also went up by 28%.
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