Prescription rates in London increase during lockdown!

Data from NHS Digital shows there was an overall increase of 9.3% in medicines prescribed in England in March 2020 compared to March 2019. This effect was seen to varying extents across most types of medicines.

NHS Sutton prescribed more antidepressant, anti-insomnia and anti-anxiety medication combined per 1,000 patients than any other CCG in NHS London.

NHS Brent prescribed the least medication at the start of lockdown (52.8 per 1,000 patients).

Prescriptions in March 2020 per 1,000 patients vs deprivation ranking

CCG Deprivation Ranking Prescriptions / 1000 patients Anti-Anxiety / 1000 patients Antidepressant / 1000 patients Insomnia / 1000 patients
NHS Sutton 161 121.7 9.6 97.5 14.6
NHS Bexley 140 93.4 5.2 79 9.2
NHS Tower Hamlets 22 87.5 2.7 80.3 4.4
NHS Hammersmith and Fulham 71 87.5 7.9 69.9 9.8
NHS Havering 135 87.4 5.7 71.8 9.8
NHS Barking and Dagenham 7 83.9 5.2 68.2 10.5
NHS Islington 23 81.3 8.3 63.1 9.9
NHS Kingston 177 80.2 5.9 65 9.3
NHS Richmond 186 79.5 6 63.5 9.9
NHS Enfield 52 79.2 5 66.8 7.4
NHS Greenwich 53 79 5.2 63.5 10.3
NHS Barnet 138 76.8 6.4 58.4 11.9
NHS Wandsworth 125 75 5.5 60.4 9.1
NHS Hillingdon 108 74 4.9 61.4 7.7
NHS Haringey 30 70.5 4.2 60.2 6.2
NHS Croydon 75 70.3 4.5 58.2 7.6
NHS West London 78 70.3 7.1 52.2 11
NHS Central London (Westminster) 113 68.7 5.7 53.9 9.1
NHS Merton 153 68.3 4.3 56.5 7.5
NHS Bromley 162 68.2 4.2 57.9 6.1
NHS Hounslow 69 67 5.7 53.6 7.7
NHS Southwark 39 66 2.9 57.9 5.2
NHS Camden 94 65.8 6.5 50.8 8.6
NHS Lambeth 38 65.4 3.7 55.8 5.9
NHS Harrow 147 61.9 4.8 49.1 8
NHS Ealing 65 61.5 4.3 50.5 6.7
NHS City and Hackney 9 59.5 4.7 48.9 5.9
NHS Newham 11 59.3 2.3 53 4
NHS Redbridge 115 59 4.4 45.6 9
NHS Waltham Forest 40 58.2 3.7 47.9 6.6
NHS Lewisham 29 54.3 3.3 45.8 5.2
NHS Brent 42 52.8 3.8 43.8 5.3

 

Alistair Murray, Chief Pharmacist at Echo commented:

“A lot of people ordered their next prescription early because there was so much uncertainty about how lockdown would work and people didn’t want to be left without medicines. This led to some short term supply issues across the country but wasn’t as marked as the panic-buying that we saw in supermarkets and the medicines supply chain returned to normal quite quickly.

“With antidepressants, we know that people can experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking them suddenly so it’s not surprising that people didn’t want to risk running out of their antidepressants.

“It’s unlikely that the increase at this stage is due to new prescriptions because there is normally a gap between initial contact with a GP and the time of first prescription while other options such as talking therapies are considered.

However, we know from various surveys that many people have experienced a worsening of their mental health during COVID and lockdown so we will be revisiting the data for May and June once it becomes available as this will show some of the more lasting impact of lockdown on mental health.”

 

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