2008 was essentially the start of the current economic downturn in North Cyprus which has accelerated in the last two years. The growing problems of unemployment, poverty and credit debt are wearing away at the social fabric of the island. This can be seen in higher divorce rates and now in the increased usage of anti-depressant drugs.
The State Prescription Office, a branch of the Ministry of Health yesterday produced some astonishing numbers. It says that purchases for distribution by state hospitals of anti-depressant drugs was one million two hundred sixty eight thousand pills in the last two years. The figures for 2011 were 561 thousand and 2012 – 707 thousand, an increase of 26%.
However, these numbers cover the state sector only. Sales from private pharmacies are not included in these figures and are estimated to be around twice state sales.
Medical supplies and medicines are bought by the state twice a year under tender (January and September). Director of the State Prescription Service, Ayden Kutalp stated that last year the total cost was TL22 million and this year had risen to TL30 million.