Report highlights increase in Alzheimer's drug prescriptions

January 20, 2016

A new report released today shows that Alzheimer's drug prescriptions have increased six times in the last decade, the proportion of people receiving a dementia diagnosis has increased over the last year by 112 per 100,000, and 39 per cent of carers who looked after someone with dementia spent 100 or more hours each week doing so in 2014/15.

The report – Focus on Dementia – collated statistics from different aspects of health and care services to give a more rounded picture of the treatment and experiences of those with dementia and their carers

Focus on Dementia was published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) on Tuesday 19 January.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Research UK, said:

"This report doesn't investigate the reasons behind the increase in prescriptions, but it's likely that a drive to improve diagnosis rates and a rapidly ageing population have contributed to the rise. This report shows that progress is being made in diagnosing people with dementia but also highlights the urgent need for more research into prevention and better treatments. Dementia costs the UK economy £23.6 billion every year and the human cost is even higher. While existing dementia treatments can help with some of the symptoms, we still lack treatments capable of stopping the damage caused by diseases such as Alzheimer's.

"There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and the condition is now the biggest killer of women. Dementia affects the lives of people diagnosed and those close to them causing social isolation, financial strain and impacting both psychological and physical health. With one person developing every three minutes this year, the need for research to defeat the condition has never been more vital."

Explore further: Dementia is leading cause of death for women in England and Wales

More information: Focus on Dementia: www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/demfocusjan16

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