Rise in antidepressant prescriptions in England in 2016

Antidepressants saw the greatest numeric rise of all British National Formulary therapeutic areas for prescription items dispensed in the community in England in 2016, according to a report published by NHS Digital.

The report, Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community 2006-2016, shows that for the fourth successive year, prescription items for antidepressants showed the greatest numeric rise. They increased by 3.7 million items (6.0 per cent), from 61.0 million to 64.7 million between 2015 and 2016.

The number of antidepressant items has more than doubled in the last decade. In 2016, there were 64.7 million antidepressant items dispensed – 33.7 million (108.5 per cent) more than in 2006, when there were 31.0 million.

This report presents a summary of prescription items dispensed in the community in England. It highlights numbers, costs and changes between 2015 and 2016 and presents the main trends between 2006 and 2016 and within therapeutic areas, based on BNF classifications.


Matt Pearce Hafal