Economic Implications of Treatment-Resistant Depression Among Employees
Patricia K. Corey-Lisle
Background: Conservative estimates indicate between 10% and 20% of all individuals with major depressive disorders (MDDs) fail to respond to conventional antidepressant therapies. Amongst those with MDD, individuals with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) have been found to be frequent users of healthcare services and to incur significantly greater costs than those without TRD. Given the prevalence of the disorder, it is understandable that MDDs are responsible for a significant amount of both direct and indirect healthcare costs. Objective: To provide empirical findings for employees likely to have TRD based on analysis of employer claims data, in the context of previous research. Methods: We conducted a claims data analysis of employees of a large national (US) employer. The data source consisted of medical, pharmaceutical and disability claims from a Fortune 100 manufacturer for the years 1996-1998 (total beneficiaries >100 Results: The average annual cost of employees considered TRD-likely was $US14 Conclusion: TRD has gained increasing recognition due to both the clinical challenges and economic burdens associated with the condition. TRD imposes a significant economic burden on an employer. TRD-likely employees are more likely to be treated for selected comorbid conditions and have higher medical and work loss costs across all conditions.
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