5.3 Antipsychotic medicines dispensing, 17 years and under

The Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation investigates healthcare use in four clinical areas, as well as patterns of medicines dispensing over time.  Antipsychotic medicines dispensing 17 years and under, is included in Chapter 5, Repeat analyses.  

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Why explore use of these medicines over time?

Antipsychotic medicines can cause long-term harm, even at low doses. It is therefore essential that these medicines are prescribed appropriately in young people to ensure that their benefits outweigh the risks. Use of antipsychotic medicines for non-approved indications, such as acute sedation in the absence of psychotic symptoms, is a particular concern.

Time series graph

This section examines antipsychotic medicines dispensing in Australia from 2013-14 to 2016-17 for those aged 17 years and under.

Each rectangle represents an SA3. SA3s are geographical areas defined by the ABS that provide a standardised regional breakdown of Australia. SA3s generally have populations between 30,000 and 130,000 people. 

Antipsychotic medicines dispensing, 17 years and under

About the data

About the data - Antipsychotic medicines dispensing, 17years and under

Data are sourced from the PBS dataset. This dataset includes all prescriptions dispensed under the PBS or the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, including prescriptions that do not receive an Australian Government subsidy. Note that some dispensed medicines may not be consumed by the patient.

The dataset does not include prescriptions dispensed for patients during their hospitalisation in public hospitals, discharge prescriptions dispensed from public hospitals in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, direct supply of medicines to remote Aboriginal health services, over-the-counter purchase of medicines, doctor’s bag medicines and private prescriptions.

The PBS data do not include prescriptions for clozapine dispensed by public hospitals and claimed through offline arrangements up to 2014–15. The Technical Supplement has further details about clozapine prescriptions.

This analysis was not undertaken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status because this information was not available for PBS data at the time of publication.

Changes have been made to the data specification used in the first Atlas to improve the robustness of comparing rates over time. The main change is the addition of sex standardisation, as the data specification for the first Atlas standardised for age only. These changes have resulted in small differences in the rates reported for 2013–14 in the first Atlas and this Atlas. The rates reported in this Atlas should be used to monitor changes over time.

About the Atlas and how to interpret the data visualisations

This document outlines how to interpret the data correctly and explains the limitations of the data prior to using the Atlas:

Data specifications

Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018: Number of PBS/RPBS prescriptions dispensed for antipsychotic medicines per 100,000 people, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 

Antipsychotic medicines dispensing, 17 years and under

About the data

About the data - Antipsychotic medicines dispensing, 17years and under

Data are sourced from the PBS dataset. This dataset includes all prescriptions dispensed under the PBS or the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, including prescriptions that do not receive an Australian Government subsidy. Note that some dispensed medicines may not be consumed by the patient.

The dataset does not include prescriptions dispensed for patients during their hospitalisation in public hospitals, discharge prescriptions dispensed from public hospitals in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, direct supply of medicines to remote Aboriginal health services, over-the-counter purchase of medicines, doctor’s bag medicines and private prescriptions.

The PBS data do not include prescriptions for clozapine dispensed by public hospitals and claimed through offline arrangements up to 2014–15. The Technical Supplement has further details about clozapine prescriptions.

This analysis was not undertaken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status because this information was not available for PBS data at the time of publication.

Changes have been made to the data specification used in the first Atlas to improve the robustness of comparing rates over time. The main change is the addition of sex standardisation, as the data specification for the first Atlas standardised for age only. These changes have resulted in small differences in the rates reported for 2013–14 in the first Atlas and this Atlas. The rates reported in this Atlas should be used to monitor changes over time.

About the Atlas and how to interpret the data visualisations

This document outlines how to interpret the data correctly and explains the limitations of the data prior to using the Atlas:

Data specifications

Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018: Number of PBS/RPBS prescriptions dispensed for antipsychotic medicines per 100,000 people, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17