Rise in antidepressant prescriptions...and prescription charges
Posted Tuesday 11 August 2009
The Evening Standard tells us that the recession has resulted in a dramatic rise in the prescription of antidepressants. This is no great surprise. The link between recession and mental health is well documented. But what I would like to know is just how many of these prescriptions for antidepressants have been collected.
This April, the prescription charge rose yet again. It now costs £7.20 per item. So, the more ill you are, and the more prescriptions you need, the more you have to pay! I can’t help thinking that for those who have lost their jobs and subsequently experienced depression, the burden of prescription charges is the last thing they want (unemployment does not necessarily exempt people from prescription charges). Although Mind doesn't believe that medication is a good treatment option for all, when someone feels that medication really will help it is unjust that the poorer they are the less likely it is that they will get treatment.
Mind is part of the Prescription Charges Coalition that is calling on Gordon Brown to keep the promise he made last year to eliminate prescription charges for all those with long term conditions. Please go to the Coalition's website to find out more and take action. With the number of those experiencing depression very likely to increase throughout the rest of this year, eliminating prescription charges for those in distress is now more important than ever.
Mariam Kemple, Policy and Campaigns Officer
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