Prescribing data

Three prescribing comparators are available to support this key therapeutic topic[2]:

  • Antidepressant (selected): ADQ/STAR PU (ADQ based): the total number of average daily quantities (ADQs) for selected antidepressant prescribing per Antidepressants (BNF 4.3 sub‑set) ADQ based Specific Therapeutic Group Age‑sex weightings Related Prescribing Unit (STAR‑PU).

  • Antidepressants: first choice % items: the number of prescription items for SSRIs (sub‑set of BNF 4.3.3) prescribed by approved name as a percentage of the total number of prescription items for 'selected' antidepressants (sub‑set of BNF 4.3).

  • Dosulepin % items: the number of prescription items for dosulepin as a percentage of the total number of prescription items for 'selected' antidepressants (sub‑set of BNF 4.3).

Antidepressants: ADQ/STAR‑PU

  • Data for the quarter April to June 2015 show a 3.7 fold variation in prescribing rates at Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) level, from 0.14 to 0.50 ADQ/STAR‑PU.

  • Between Q2 2013/14 (July to September 2013) and Q1 2015/16 (April to June 2015) there was an 11.5% increase in the comparator value for England (total prescribing) from 0.30 to 0.33 ADQ/STAR‑PU.

  • Over the same period there was a 17.4% increase in the variation between CCGs, as measured by the inter‑decile range, an absolute increase of 0.03 ADQ/STAR‑PU. The inter‑decile range is the difference between the highest and lowest values after the highest and lowest 10% of values have been removed.

Antidepressants: first choice % items

  • Data for the quarter April to June 2015 show a 1.3 fold variation in prescribing rates at CCG level, from 59.7% to 79.3%.

  • Between Q2 2013/14 (July to September 2013) and Q1 2015/16 (April to June 2015) there was a 0.53% decrease in the comparator value for England (total prescribing) from 69.6% to 69.2%.

  • Over the same period there was a 2.55% increase in the variation between CCGs, as measured by the inter‑decile range, an absolute increase of 0.23%. The inter‑decile range is the difference between the highest and lowest values after the highest and lowest 10% of values have been removed.

Dosulepin % items

  • Data for the quarter April to June 2015 show a 10.2 fold variation in prescribing rates at CCG level, from 0.56% to 5.66%.

  • Between Q2 2013/14 (July to September 2013) and Q1 2015/16 (April to June 2015) there was a 28.2% decrease in the comparator value for England (total prescribing) from 3.14% to 2.25%.

  • Over the same period there was a 26.7% decrease in the variation between CCGs, as measured by the inter‑decile range, an absolute decrease of 0.77%. The inter‑decile range is the difference between the highest and lowest values after the highest and lowest 10% of values have been removed.

The medicines optimisation dashboard, which brings together a range of medicines‑related quality indicators from across sectors, includes several mental health metrics related to this key therapeutic topic. These include 2 of the prescribing comparators outlined above (Antidepressant [selected]: ADQ/STAR PU [ADQ based] and Antidepressants: first choice % items) plus:

  • Depression (DEP002) % achieving upper threshold or above, which is the percentage of practices in a CCG that achieve upper threshold or above (80% or more inclusive of exceptions) for QOF indicator DEP002.

  • Depression (DEP002) % underlying achievement, which is the percentage underlying achievement at CCG level for QOF indicator DEP002 inclusive of exceptions.



[2] The comparator and associated data presented here are based on the previous Key therapeutic topics publication (January 2015). Data provided by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (October 2015; source: Information Services Portal, Business Services Authority). For details of any update to the comparators refer to the Health and Social Care Information Centre website and the Information Services Portal, Business Services Authority.