Ann Gen Psychiatry 11:22.
AstraZeneca Medical Department, Madrid, Spain
BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to determine the most common treatment strategies and their costs for patients with an inadequate response to first-line antidepressant treatment (AD) in primary care.
METHOD: A retrospective cohort study of medical records from six primary care centers was conducted. Adults with a major depressive disorder diagnosis, at least 8 weeks of AD treatment after the first prescription, and patient monitoring for 12 months were analyzed. Healthcare (direct cost) and non-healthcare costs (indirect costs; work productivity losses) were described.
RESULTS: A total of 2,260 patients were studied. Forty-three percent of patients (N = 965) presented an inadequate response to treatment. Summarizing the different treatment approaches: 43.2% were switched to another AD, 15.5% were given an additional AD, AD dose was increased in 14.6%, and 26.7% remained with the same antidepressant agent. Healthcare/annual costs were 451.2 Euros for patients in remission vs. 826.1 Euros in those with inadequate response, and productivity losses were 991.4 versus 1,842.0 Euros, respectively (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Antidepressant switch was the most common therapeutic approach performed by general practitioners in naturalistic practice. A delay in treatment change when no remission occurs and a significant heterogeneity in management of these patients were also found.
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