Behind The News - 27 November 2012

Dispensing of psychotropic drugs increased by 58.2% from 2000 to 2011 in Australia, with the use of antidepressants almost doubling – despite doubts over their efficacy – and the use of atypical antipsychotics increasing threefold.

Some experts blame aggressive marketing strategies by pharmaceutical companies for contributing to the increase, while others believe the rise reflects changes in attitudes towards, and the increased detection of, mental illness.