[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 12, July 2012].
The percentage of dementia patients being prescribed antipsychotic drugs fell sharply over the period 2006-2011 according to a statistical report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). This is the first national audit of primary care on the subject, and shows that the percentage of dementia patients being prescribed antipsychotic drugs fell from 17% cent in 2006 to 7% in 2011. Dementia diagnosis rates are also investigated.
Information from nearly 197,000 people with dementia from more than 3,800 practices in England was analysed by the National Dementia and Antipsychotic Prescribing Audit. The main findings show:
- A 52% reduction in the number of people with dementia receiving a prescription of antipsychotic medication from 2008 to 2011.
- The number of people newly diagnosed each year with dementia in the participating practices increased by 68% in the years from 2006 to 2011.
- Prevalence of diagnosed dementia is higher in women (66%) than in men.
- Most people diagnosed with dementia are aged 65 years and older (95%).
Note: The picture regarding the numbers of dementia patients being prescribed antipsychotics is mixed nationally: there remain regional variations, with rates of prescribing of antipsychotic drugs up to six times higher in some areas compared with others.
The National Dementia and Antipsychotic Prescribing Audit National Summary Report 2012. Key findings on the prescription of antipsychotics for people with dementia in England. Report for the audit period 2006 to 2011. Leeds: Health and Social Care Information Centre’s Clinical Audit Support Unit (CASU), July 2012.
Note: Associated documentation (i.e. appendices) in connection with the National Dementia and Antipsychotic Prescribing Audit National Summary Report is also available online.