Freedom of Information Disclosure Log

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Open Government Licence 3.0 (United Kingdom) [Open Data]



How many people aged 16 and under were prescribed antidepressant drug items in the UK, by year? Looking at the years 2005, 2006, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 (if the data for 2023 is not already available, it is fine without 2023).

If available, I would also like to have the information by gender (Ie. For each of the above years, how many boys and how many girls aged 16 and under were prescribed antidepressant drug items in the UK?)


A copy of the information is attached.

Prescribing in England for antidepressants (BNF 0403) for patients aged 16 and under, split by gender

NHS Prescription Services process prescriptions for Pharmacy Contractors, Appliance Contractors, Dispensing Doctors and Personal Administration with information then used to make payments to pharmacists and appliance contractors in England for prescriptions dispensed in primary care settings (other arrangements are in place for making payments to Dispensing Doctors and Personal Administration). This involves processing over 1 billion prescription items and payments totalling over £9 billion each year. The information gathered from this process is then used to provide information on costs and trends in prescribing in England and Wales to over 25,000 registered NHS and Department of Health and Social Care users.

Data Source: ePACT2

Data in ePACT2 is sourced from the NHSBSA Data Warehouse and is derived from products prescribed on prescriptions and dispensed in the Community. The data captured from prescription processing is used to calculate reimbursement and remuneration. It includes items prescribed in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Guernsey / Alderney, Jersey, and Isle of Man which have been dispensed in the community in England. English prescribing that has been dispensed in Wales, Scotland, Guernsey / Alderney, Jersey, and Isle of Man is also included.

The Data excludes:

• Items not dispensed, disallowed and those returned to the contractor for further clarification.

• Prescriptions prescribed and dispensed in Prisons, Hospitals and Private prescriptions.

• Items prescribed but not presented for dispensing or not submitted to NHS Prescription Services by the dispenser.

Time Period

Calendar years 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 (aggregated)

Organisation Data:

The data is limited to prescriptions prescribed in England and dispensed anywhere in the UK.


This dataset is limited to the prescribing of products in BNF section 0403 antidepressants for unique patients aged 16 and under, split by their gender.

Patient Identification:

Where patient identifiable figures have been reported they are based on the information captured during the prescription processing activities. Please note, patient details cannot be captured from every prescription form and based on the criteria used for this analysis, patient information (age and nhs number) was available for 99.1% of prescription items.

The patient count figures are based on a distinct count of NHS number as captured from the prescription image. Patient ages are based on the age as captured from the prescription image and relates to the patient's age at the time of prescribing/dispensing. Please note it is possible that a single patient may be included in the results for more than one age band where a patient has received prescribing at different ages during the time period.

The figures for the number of identifiable patients should not be combined and reported at any other level than provided as this may result in the double-counting of patients. For example, a single patient could appear in the results for multiple age bands, years and / or prescribed products.


Patient gender has been reported using the latest patient gender information held by the NHSBSA Information Services data warehouse at the time that the data was extracted. This uses information from either the most recent Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) message or from the last time that NHSBSA received data about the patient's gender from NHS Personal Demographics Service.

Gender is either: Male, Female, Not Known (where no information is held) or Indeterminate (where information is held which does not confirm either Male or Female).

Data Queries

If you have any queries regarding the data provided, or if you plan on publishing the data, please contact ensuring you quote the above reference. This is important to ensure that the figures are not misunderstood or misrepresented.

If you plan on producing a press or broadcast story based upon the data please contact This is important to ensure that the figures are not misunderstood or misrepresented.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and is subject to NHSBSA copyright. This information is licenced under the terms of the Open Government Licence detailed at:

Should you wish to re-use the information you must include the following statement: “ePACT2, NHSBSA Copyright 2023” This information is licenced under the terms of the Open Government Licence:

Failure to do so is a breach of the terms of the licence.

Information you receive which is not subject to NHSBSA Copyright continues to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the information originated.

Please obtain their permission before reproducing any third party (non NHSBSA Copyright) information.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Contact Information Governance
Version 1.0
State active
Last Updated March 26, 2024, 09:17 (UTC)
Created March 26, 2024, 09:17 (UTC)