NHS Releases Latest Stats On Mental Health Medicines

NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has released its latest data via the Medicines Used in Mental Health report, covering April to June 2021.

A decrease in the number of drugs prescribed for dementia was statistically significant, as there were 481,000 fewer drugs prescribed than expected based on past trends.

Drugs for dementia did not show a downward trend for this period, a change from the downwards trend over the last year, with 997,000 drugs for dementia prescribed. This is a two per cent increase from 982,000 items in the previous quarter, but it is a four per cent decrease from 1.04 million items in the same quarter in 2020/21.

Although not statistically significant, another of the key findings is that in the 16-month period since the COVID-19 lockdown between March 2020 and June 2021 – there were 1.2 million more antidepressant drugs prescribed than expected based on historical trends.

Between April to June 2021 there were 20.5 million antidepressant drugs prescribed. This is a two per cent increase from 20.2 million items in the previous quarter (three months), and a seven per cent increase from 19.2 million items for the same period in 2020/21.

The report covers five main groups of medicines: Hypnotics and anxiolytics (used to treat insomnia and anxiety); antidepressants; drugs for dementia; drugs used in psychoses and related disorders; and central nervous system (CNS) stimulants and drugs used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The data is based on community prescribing and excludes hospitals and prisons.

To see the full statistical reports follow the links below:

Latest release – Quarterly (April – June 2021):

Annual publication:

For dates of upcoming statistical publication releases, including the annual Prescriptions Cost Analysis, visit: