Published 4 March 2021
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.
20.5 million antidepressant drugs were prescribed between October and December 2020. This was a 5% increase from 19.6 million items in the previous quarter, and a 6% increase from 19.3 million items when compared with the same quarter in 2019/20.
Prescribing of drugs for dementia continued to show a downward trend. 1.02 million items of drugs for dementia were prescribed between October and December 2020, a 5% decrease from the same quarter in 2019/20. There were 226,000 identified patients between October and December 2020, a 4% decrease in patients from the same quarter in 2019/20.
All of the drug groups observed a larger increase in monthly prescribing between November and December 2020 than between November and December 2019. On average, this was 5 percentage points greater than the increases observed between November and December 2019.
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Responsible statistician: Bethany Ogle