A comparison of benzodiazepine and related drug use in Nova Scotia and Australia

Smith, Alesha J., Sketris, Ingrid, Cooke, Charmaine, Gardner, David, Kisely, Steve and Tett, Susan E. (2008) A comparison of benzodiazepine and related drug use in Nova Scotia and Australia. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 53 8: 545-552.

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Author Smith, Alesha J.
Sketris, Ingrid
Cooke, Charmaine
Gardner, David
Kisely, Steve
Tett, Susan E.
Title A comparison of benzodiazepine and related drug use in Nova Scotia and Australia
Journal name The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0706-7437
Publication date 2008-08
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 53
Issue 8
Start page 545
End page 552
Total pages 8
Place of publication Ottawa, Ont., Canada
Publisher Canadian Psychiatric Association
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject 111711 Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance)
920599 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) not elsewhere classified
111503 Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice
Formatted abstract
Objective: Benzodiazepines can be a problem if used for long periods, or in at-risk populations, such
as the elderly. We compared the use of benzodiazepine and related prescription medicines in Nova
Scotia and Australia.

Methods: The Nova Scotia Pharmacare Program and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in Australia
were used to obtain dispensing data in comparable populations for all publicly subsidized
benzodiazepines and related compounds. Usage was compared from 2000 to 2003, using the World
Health Organization anatomical therapeutic chemical and defined daily dosage (DDD) system. We also
determined differences in the types of benzodiazepines prescribed.

Results: The use of benzodiazepines increased at a steady but comparable rate in both areas. However,
the use of benzodiazepines in Nova Scotia was more than double that of Australia in 2000 (123 and
48 DDD/1000 beneficiaries per day, respectively) through 2003 (138 and 57 DDD/1000 beneficiaries
per day, respectively). Eight different benzodiazepines made up 90% of the drug use in Nova Scotia by
contrast to only 4 different benzodiazepines in Australia.

Conclusions: Large differences exist between the type and rate of benzodiazepine prescribing in Nova
Scotia and Australia, with Nova Scotia reporting more than twice as much use. Benzodiazepine use in
both jurisdictions is increasing. The Canadian findings are especially concerning as benzodiazepine use
in the Atlantic provinces has been reported to be less than other provinces. The variations between the
2 jurisdictions may be due to factors such as fewer benzodiazepines available in Australia, differences
in prescriber, patient attitudes and behaviours, or different initiatives to influence benzodiazepine use.
Keyword Benzodiazepine
Nova Scotia
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Pharmacy Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 11 Dec 2008, 11:29:15 EST by Elizabeth Pyke on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences