Economic Impact of Patient Adherence with Antidepressant Therapy Within a Managed Care Organization
T. Jeffrey White
Christopher M. Dezii
Objective: To evaluate the relationship between adherence to antidepressant therapy and economic outcomes. Design: Retrospective database analysis using pharmacy and medical claims from a pharmacy benefit and medical management company serving a large managed care organization (MCO) that provides healthcare coverage for approximately 3.5 million members. Participants: Patient selection was based on the following criteria: (i) newly started on antidepressant therapy between 1 April 1999 through 30 June 1999; (ii) titrated to a usual antidepressant dosage level within 6 months of the initiation of therapy; (iii) continuously enrolled in the health plan between 1 January 1999 through 31 December 1999; and (iv) >18 years of age. Outcome measures: Antidepressant adherence was calculated as a ratio of the total number of day Results: Of the total cohort (14 Conclusion: In this MCO, patients who were adherent with antidepressant therapy possessed significantly lower medical charges. These findings indicate that patient adherence with antidepressant therapy significantly improved the economic outcomes. It is suggested that there is a need for raising awareness about the importance of patient adherence as well as to improve methods of detecting individuals with depression in order to gain the economic benefits associated with adherence.
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