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GPs in England prescribed 2.7 million extra antidepressants during 2012 recession

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3607 (Published 29 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3607
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Antidepressant prescriptions increased significantly in England during the recent recession, and the rise was not based on a corresponding increase in depression in patients, a report from the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation has said.1

The research, published as part of the QualityWatch programme, showed a 165% increase in the prescribing of antidepressant drugs in England from 1998 to 2012. Doctors prescribed 15 million items in 1998 compared with 40 million in 2012, the latest year for which data were available. However, the rate of increase has not been stable; the annual rise in prescriptions increased to 8.5% after the banking crash in 2008, compared with 6.7% before it.

The analysis said that the increase was not an artefact …

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