The cost of treatment dropout in depression A cost-benefit analysis of fluoxetine vs. tricyclics
Le Pen, Claude; Lévy, Emile; Ravily, V.; Beuzen, J.N.; Meurgey, F. (1994), The cost of treatment dropout in depression A cost-benefit analysis of fluoxetine vs. tricyclics, Journal of Affective Disorders, 31, 1, p. 1-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0165-0327(94)90122-8
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal nameJournal of Affective Disorders
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Abstract (EN)In this study, we tried to estimate the economic potential benefit of the use of fluoxetine (PROZACR 20 mg, Lilly) versus tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) in depression of mild to moderate intensity. Fluoxetine has demonstrated, in controlled studies, significantly lower rates of side-effects and treatment dropout than TCAs while showing similar efficacy. Treatment dropout, especially at an early stage of the therapy, can have profound consequences, including excessive lengthening of the depressive episode, symptomatic relapse, increase of repeated days out of work, even suicides or suicide attempts. We estimated the expected cost of treatment dropout using a Delphi expert panel. We then computed the economic benefit of fluoxetine by combining the dropout cost and the differential rate of total treatment dropout between fluoxetine and TCAs, as found in clinical trials. We thus showed that a 8 week fluoxetine could be beneficial to society provided society values a year of human life above a threshold varying from French Francs 23.800 to FF8.600 (respectively, about US$4500 and 1600) depending on the type of depression. As these values are extremely low compared to those found in the literature, we concluded that an apparently costly innovation such as fluoxetine may induce short-term financial savings for society.
Subjects / KeywordsTricyclic antidepressants; Depression; Cost-benefit analysis; Fluoxetine
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