Depressive Illnesses

Health written question – answered on 11th June 2014.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Labour, Vale of Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of trends in issuing of NHS prescriptions for (a) anti-depressants and (b) mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of repeat episode depression since 2008; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb The Minister of State, Department of Health

Information on the use of mindfulness-based interventions is not collected centrally. However, the new Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) data set, which is due to come on stream from July 2014, will allow recording of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy as an IAPT treatment. The following table provides information on the use of antidepressant medicines:

Number of prescription items written in the United Kingdom and dispensed in the community, in England, for medicines classified as anti-depressants in British National Formulary (BNF) section 4.3 Antidepressant drugs, for the calendar years 2008-131
  Prescription items (Thousand)
2008 35,960.5
2009 39,140.5
2010 42,788.0
2011 46,677.8
2012 50,167.2
2013 53,326.6
1 Medicines may be used to treat conditions other than the therapeutic classifications defined in the BNF. Source: Prescription Cost Analysis system. The Health and Social Care Information Centre, Prescribing and Primary Care Services.

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