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Graph 6: Proportion of Australian population accessing PBS subsidised mental health-related prescription medication -- 2011, by Age and Sex
PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION TYPE
For females, Antidepressants were the most common drug type (around 10% of all females), followed by Anxiolytics (3.1%) and Hypnotics and Sedatives (2.9%). For males, Antidepressants were also the most common type of drug prescribed although the rate was lower than for females (5.6%).
Graph 7: Proportion of Australian population accessing PBS subsidised mental health-related prescription medication -- 2011, by Drug Type and Sex
STATE AND REGIONAL DIFFERENCES
Care must be taken when analysing the differences among states and regions as any differences may reflect the underlying age structure within the geographical area. In general, the populations outside Major Cities such as Inner Regional and Outer Regional areas have older age structures than the Major Cities and Remote/Very Remote areas. Also, the PBS data does not have complete coverage with some groups under-represented, particularly people in the Aboriginal Health Services program. Data for Remote, Very Remote and the Northern Territory are particularly affected (see Explanatory notes for further detail).
In 2011, Tasmania (14.5%) had the highest proportion of the population accessing a PBS subsidised mental health-related prescription medication, reflecting in part the underlying older age structure of the State. Similarly, people living in Inner and Outer regional areas also tend to be older and again these regions had higher proportions of people accessing mental health-related prescription medication (13.5% and 12% respectively) than Major Cities (10.3%) which have a younger age profile.
The Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD) is a general socio-economic index that summarises a range of information about the economic and social conditions of people and households within an area. By using the IRSD from the Census and combining it with the PBS data it is possible to determine the socio-economic patterns amongst those who use subsidised mental health-related prescription medication.
In 2011, of all people living in the most disadvantaged areas, 15.4% accessed a PBS subsidised mental health-related medication, most commonly Antidepressants (10.8% of all people living in these areas). Of all people living in the least disadvantaged areas, 7.2% accessed a PBS subsidised mental health-related medication, again most commonly Antidepressants (5.2% of all people living in these areas).
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