Australia ranks second in anti-depressant prescriptions in the world

Posted on November 25, 2013

Australian use of anti-depressants has doubled over the last decade (flickr)

The latest health 'snapshot' of the 33 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations has revealed that Australia is now the second-highest prescriber of anti-depressant medications. 81 in 1000 Australians are now on some form of daily anti-depressant.

Australian use of anti-depressants has doubled over the last decade - Iceland is the only country that has a higher rate of the use of the drugs - and several health experts say doctors are under pressure and over-prescribing.

Professor Philip Mitchell, the Head of the University of New South Wales School of Psychiatry, says it indicates that over-prescription of the drugs is now a problem in Australia.

"This concerns me that this is too much. We know that for milder levels of depression that psychological treatment, psychological therapy [is] very effective, and in Australia we do have a system for this through the better-access scheme, so it surprises me that the rates are continuing to go up," he said.


Source material from ABC News

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