Healthcare expenditure in severely depressed patients treated with escitalopram, generic SSRIs or venlafaxine in the UK

Healthcare expenditure in severely depressed patients treated with escitalopram, generic SSRIs or venlafaxine in the UK

2010 Curr. Med. Res. Opin

Wade, A.G. | Saragoussi, D. | Despiegel, N. | Francois, C. | Guelfucci, F. | Toumi, M. | Volume: 26, Issue: 5, Pages: 1161-1170, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, analysis, Citalopram, Cohort Studies, Cyclohexanols, Depression, drug therapy, Drugs,Generic, economics, Female, Great Britain, Health Care Costs, Humans, Male, methods, Middle Aged, Retrospective Studies, Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors, Severity of Illness Index, therapeutic use, Young Adult, database analysis,

OBJECTIVE: To retrospectively compare the 12-month healthcare utilisation and direct medical costs associated with the use of escitalopram, generic SSRIs, and venlafaxine in patients with severe depression in the United Kingdom (UK). METHODS: Data for this retrospective cohort study were extracted from the GPRD, a large primary care database in the UK. Data from adults with an incident prescription of escitalopram, venlafaxine, or generic SSRI were extracted. The initial prescription had to fall within 3 months of a physician visit when severe depression according to the GPRD definition was mentioned. Frequency of antidepressant treatment, GP consultations, referrals, hospitalisations, and concomitant psychiatric medication was assessed on the 12-months after initial prescription and 2006 unit costs for healthcare services obtained from published literature were applied, and then compared between treatment cohorts using a propensity score-adjusted generalised linear model. RESULTS: The total annual healthcare expenditure per patient was similar with escitalopram and generic SSRIs (916 pounds vs. 974 pounds, adjusted p = 0.48) and significantly lower than venlafaxine (916 pounds vs. 1367 pounds, adjusted p < 0.0001), a pattern repeated when antidepressant costs were excluded from the analysis (escitalopram vs. SSRIs, 831 pounds vs. 957 pounds, adjusted p = 0.10; escitalopram vs. venlafaxine, 831 pounds vs. 1156 pounds, adjusted p = 0.006). Over the 12-month analysis period, there were significantly fewer hospitalisations per patient in the escitalopram vs. venlafaxine (0.12 vs. 0.27; adjusted p = 0.01) or generic SSRI (0.12 vs. 0.19; adjusted p = 0.046) groups. CONCLUSION: Despite some limitations associated with the system of data collection in the GPRD (need to apply proxies for severity assessment and external unit costs to resource consumption), the results of this real-life study brings additional evidence of escitalopram appearing to be a cost-effective treatment for patients suffering from severe depression as diagnosed in routine practice and could be considered for first-line treatment in these patients

https://www.doi.org/10.1185/03007991003738519