Parliamentary reply shows UK is awash in anti depressant drugs costing £2.5 billion over 10 years – including thousands prescribed to children aged 5-11. Government should now say how many were new prescriptions and how many were repeat prescriptions

Mar 3, 2021 | Featured

Parliamentary reply shows UK is awash in anti depressant drugs costing £2.5 billion over 10 years – including thousands prescribed to children aged 5-11. Government should now say how many were new prescriptions and how many were repeat prescriptions

Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL13151):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many anti-depressants have been dispensed to (1) people under 18 years old, and (2) primary school children in each of the past ten years; and what was the total cost to the NHS. (HL13151)

Tabled on: 09 February 2021

Answer:
Lord Bethell

Information prior to 2015 is not held. The following tables show the number of antidepressant products that were prescribed to under 18 year olds and the subsequent subset of those aged 5 to 11 years old in England on a National Health Service prescription, dispensed in the community in England between April 2015, the earliest age-based data held, and November 2020, the latest data available. Information relating to items dispensed in secondary care is not collected centrally.

Number of antidepressant items prescribed and dispensed in the community in England to patients aged under 18 years old.

Calendar year

Number of prescription items

2015 (Nine months from April)

233,094

2016

329,954

2017

342,997

2018

361,436

2019

379,134

2020 (11 months up to November)

358,835

Number of antidepressant items prescribed and dispensed in the community in England to patients aged 5 to 11 years old.

Calendar year

Number of prescription items

2015 (Nine months from April)

9,336

2016

12,988

2017

13,647

2018

14,274

2019

14,529

2020 (11 months up to November)

14,187

Date and time of answer: 03 Mar 2021 at 12:30

Lord Bethell, the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL13150):

The total cost of prescription items prescribed and dispensed in the community in England to patients aged under 18 years old, including patients in the 5 to 11 years old age group between April 2015 and November 2020 was £9,110,589.79.

Question from Lord Alton of Liverpool
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many anti-depressants have been dispensed by the NHS in each of the past ten years; and what was the total cost to the NHS. (HL13150)

Tabled on: 09 February 2021

Answer:
Lord Bethell

The annual number of anti-depressants that have been prescribed and dispensed in England in the community between 2011-November 2020, the latest data available, is provided in the following table. Information is not held for items dispensed in secondary care. The total cost of prescription items between this period was £2,543,305,593.92

Calendar year

Number of prescription items

2011

46,677,813

2012

50,167,201

2013

53,326,550

2014

57,149,109

2015

61,021,662

2016

64,703,639

2017

67,530,457

2018

70,873,979

2019

74,814,619

January – November 2020

71,801,824

Note:

The data provided for the years 2011-2013 was supplied from NHS Digital whilst the data provided for the years 2014-2020 was supplied from the NHS Business Services Authority. Any data prior to 2014 may classify many products in different ways due to a significant reclassification of products.

Date and time of answer: 03 Mar 2021 at 12:31.

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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