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New dementia report: Alzheimer’s drugs prescriptions six times higher than a decade ago, UK

The number of prescriptions dispensed in England for approved medicines2 to treat Alzheimer’s increased from 502,0003 in 2004 to 3.0 million in 2014. The cost to the NHS of prescriptions4 for Alzheimer’s disease medicines dispensed in primary care stood at £45.7m in 2014. This was up from £42.8m in 2004, but down from the high point it reached in 2011 of £110.8m5.

The statistics are published today as part of the Focus On Dementia report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), pulling together in one place for the first time a range of information on dementia including statistics on diagnosis, prescribing, social care, mental health and lifestyle trends. The report also shows:

  • The proportion of people who had a diagnosis of dementia in their GP record rose from 643 per 100,000 people in April 2014 to 755 people per 100,000 in December 20156.
  • 576,000 ‘care clusters’7 were assigned to adults accessing mental health and learning disability services at the end of September 2015 – one in five (19 per cent) of these was a dementia-related care cluster.
  • 39 per cent of carers who looked after someone with dementia spent 100 or more hours each week doing so in 2014/15. Over half (51 per cent) of carers had been in this role for more than five years.

Responsible statistician Jonathan Hope said: “Our ageing population means that the way we diagnose, treat and care for people with dementia will be increasingly important to many of us.

“I hope that bringing statistics together from different aspects of health and care services can give us a more rounded picture of the treatment and experiences of those with dementia and their carers.”

Today’s report can be found at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/demfocusjan16.