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Mental health approach questioned


More should be done to understand a fourfold increase in the number of anti-depressants prescribed in Scotland, a report has said.

The study, compiled by the Public Audit Committee (PAC), found that the use of such medication quadrupled between 1993 and 2008.

PAC officials expressed mystification at a failure on the part of the Scottish Government to collect more information on the drugs, saying it threw into question their whole approach to mental health.

“(We) question whether the Scottish Government target to reduce the increase of anti-depressant prescribing can be achieved,” said committee convener Hugh Henry.

Drawing on a study by the University of Aberdeen showing that 98% of patients had been prescribed the drugs “appropriately”, he added: “In light of (the) evidence, we urge the Scottish Government to review its target and urgently improve the quality of data available on anti-depressant prescribing and the causes of depression.”

Copyright Press Association 2010
Public Audit Committee

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