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Nearly one million more patients prescribed antidepressants over five years

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Nearly one million more patients prescribed antidepressants over five years

Nearly a million more patients in England were prescribed antidepressants in 2019-2020 compared with 2015-16, according to the latest official NHS figures.

Data from the NHS Business Services Authority reveals 7,788,447 patients were on the drugs three years ago, up from 6,839,356 patients in 2015 when 58,336,864 items in total were prescribed at a net ingredient cost (NIC) of £269,255,558.09.

By 2020, the total number of items had increased to 74,764,420 but the NIC fell to £220,240,018.98.

The number of patients prescribed dementia drugs also increased over that five-year period, from 231,127 to 279,336 while the number of items rose from 3,064,786 to 4,039,495.

However, the number of patients prescribed hypnotics and anxiolytics fell from 2,379,160 to 2,123,682 and the number of items also fell from 14,596,403 to 13,991,721.

In 2019-20, there were 798,002 patients on drugs used in psychosis and related disorders compared with 709,150 in 2015-16.

In 2019-20, 153,065 patients were prescribed CNS stimulants and drugs used for ADHD compared with 105,889 patients in 2015-16.

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