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Medicines Used in Mental Health – England – Quarterly Summary Statistics July to September 2020

Published 10 December 2020


Mental health is a key area of the NHS Long term Plan published in 2019.

This publication aims to describe the prescribing of medicines used to improve mental health in England that are subsequently dispensed in the community. They do not include data on medicines used in secondary care, prisons, or issued by a private prescriber.

This is an experimental Official Statistics release.

Key findings

  • 19.6 million antidepressant drugs were prescribed between July and September 2020. This was a 2% increase from 19.2 million items in the previous quarter, and a 4% increase from 18.9 million items when compared with the same quarter last year.
  • Prescribing of drugs for dementia continued to show a downward trend. 1.00 million items of drugs for dementia were prescribed between July and September 2020. This was a 5% decrease from same quarter last year, and over a 3% decrease from 1.04 million items in the previous quarter.
  • All of the drug groups in this publication have shown greater levels of variation in monthly prescribing since the introduction of measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic on 23 March 2020.
  • All of the drug groups observed a significant decrease in monthly prescribing between July and August 2020, which has not been typically observed in previous years.

Resource list

Medicines Used in Mental Health - Quarterly summary narrative July to September 2020 (HTML)

Supporting summary tables (Excel: 140KB)

Background information and methodology note (PDF: 229KB)

User engagement strategy (PDF: 192KB)

Pre-release access list (PDF: 231KB)


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Responsible statistician: Matthew Wilson