Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Drug watchdog snubbed generalist skills in SSRI review

An opportunity to develop psychological services has been lost because millions of pounds have instead been spent on the spiralling costs

of antidepressants, researchers conclude.

An analysis of Department of Health data found 1.5 million people could have received CBT over a decade had a more 'appropriate balance' been struck.

There was a three-fold increase in the number of prescriptions of antidepressants per head between 1991 and 2002, according to the study, published online in the BMJ this week.

After adjusting for inflation, researchers calculated that this amounted to an increase in prescribing costs of £310

million.

Had this money been diverted to CBT, it could have paid for the treatment of more than a third of all patients with depression or mixed anxiety depression, the study found.

The researchers, based at the University of Bristol, concluded: 'Increases in the pharmacological treatment of depression have not been mat- ched by the development of psychological services of prov-ed effectiveness.'

They called for further research to establish 'the most appropriate balance' between drugs and alternative treatments for depression.

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say