Regional variation in anti-depressant dispensings in New Zealand: 1993-1997

Evan Roberts, Pauline Norris

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14 Scopus citations


Aims. To examine regional differences in the prescribing of anti-depressants in New Zealand from 1993 to 1997, and to examine the composition and dynamics of these differences. Methods. Data on every subsidised dispensing of antidepressant drugs 1993 to 1997 were obtained from PHARMAC and analysed using SAS. Each dispensing was allocated to a regional council area on the basis of the location of the dispensing pharmacy. Results. Prescribing of anti-depressants increased with time in all regions. However, there was substantial regional variation in prescribing rates per-capita, the highest being 2.28 to 2.49 times the lowest in every year. Regions also varied substantially in the mix of newer and older drugs used, although newer drugs became increasingly important in every region. Conclusions. Regional differences in anti-depressant prescribing are large. Further research with different data sources is required to explore the reasons for this variation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-30
Number of pages4
JournalNew Zealand Medical Journal
Issue number1125
StatePublished - Feb 9 2001


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