3.9m year-on-year increase in antidepressant prescriptions

61 million antidepressants were dispensed in 2015, compared to just 31.6 million in 2005, according to a report by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The HSCIC report, titled Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community 2005-2015, shows that the number of antidepressant items prescribed and dispensed in England has more than doubled in the last decade. This equates to a rise of 107.6 per cent since 2005 and a smaller but still significant rise of 6.8 per cent (3.9 million) since 2014.

The Net Ingredient Cost (NIC) of antidepressants has also increased in the past year, rising by £19.7 million (7.4 per cent) to £284.7 million; however, this is £53.8 million (15.9 per cent) lower than in 2005.

These figures indicate that in 2015 antidepressants cost the NHS £780,000 per day.

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