gms | German Medical Science

15th Annual Meeting of the German Drug Utilisation Research Group (GAA)

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie

20.11. - 21.11.2008, Bonn

Prescription of antidepressants: Situation in Germany

Verordnung von Antidepressiva: Situation in Deutschland anhand von Krankenkassendaten

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author C. Schicktanz - Center for Social Policy Research (ZES), University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • G. Glaeske - Center for Social Policy Research (ZES), University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie e.V. (GAA). 15. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie. Bonn, 20.-21.11.2008. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2008. Doc08gaa24

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: November 6, 2008

© 2008 Schicktanz et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background and aim: In the last years antidepressants were one of the greatest increasing agent groups.

Their efficiency was discussed and also listed in numerous publications with regard to evidence and effectiveness. Guidelines recommend the prescription of psychotherapy.

The aim of the study was to present prescription prevalence for people 18 years and older considering the variations regarding age and sex, the different drugs and sufficient drug treatment.

Material and methods: A statutory health insurance company’s (Gmuender ErsatzKasse GEK) person-specific but non-identifying prescription data from 2000, 2003, and 2006 to 2007 were analysed for the prescription of antidepressants. Prevalence, prescribed packages and DDDs were calculated.

Outpatient data of the prescription of psychotherapy from 2006 was linked with the drug data from 2006 additionally.

Results: For females the chance of a depression diagnosis is more than twice as high than for males, especially in upper age. In an analogous manner the prescription of antidepressants is higher.

The number of prescribed psychotherapy is very low in both sexes.

Conclusion: People with a depression should be early diagnosed and adequately treated, this especially applies to older patients.