Prescriptions for anxiety and depression drugs cost the State almost €40m in 2012, an Irish Examiner investigation has found.
Almost 2.3m prescriptions were written that year, enough to cover more than half the population.
The breakdown of the figures shows that 330,000 public patients were prescribed anxiety and depression drugs in 2012.
More money was spent in Galway on anti- anxiety and anti-depressant drugs in 2012 than anywhere else in the country under the General Medical Services (GMS) scheme.
Figures from the HSE’s primary care reimbursement service (PCRS) show €2,256,328 worth of prescriptions were written for medical card holders in Galway.
The prescriptions relate to the five most frequently prescribed anti-anxiety and anti-depressant pills.
At the other end of the scale, just €352,999 was spent on anxiety and anti-depressions drugs in West Cork.
West Cork also had the smallest medical card population, at 22,622, while Galway had the largest, at 104,197.
The second highest overall spend was €2,005,552 in Limerick, with a medical card population of 80,411.
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