Growth and change in the prescribing of anti-depressants in New Zealand: 1993-1997

Evan Roberts, Pauline Norris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Aims. To examine changes in the prescribing of anti-depressants in New Zealand from 1993-1997, in terms of expenditure, the number of dispensings and days of therapy supplied. Method. Data on subsidised dispensings of anti-depressant drugs during 1993 to 1997 were obtained from PHARMAC and analysed using SAS. Results. The overall size of the anti-depressant market increased considerably over the study period. Government expenditure rose 2.25 times, and 1.65 times as many days of anti-depressant medication were supplied in 1997 as in 1993. Most of this was due to the growth in prescribing of newer anti-depressants, but the use of older drugs remained constant. Conclusions. In common with other countries, the use of newer agents is contributing to increased overall use of anti-depressant medication and government expenditure in New Zealand. Use of older drugs has not diminished substantially.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-27
Number of pages3
JournalNew Zealand Medical Journal
Issue number1125
StatePublished - Feb 9 2001

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