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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


MACHADO, Márcio  and  UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE COLOMBIA PHARMACOECONOMICS GROUP et al. Pharmacoeconomics of antidepressants in moderate-to-severe depressive disorder in Colombia. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.4, pp.233-239. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To compare three antidepressant drugs from different classes used in treating moderate-to-severe major depressive disorder (MDD) in Colombian adults. METHODS: Based on expert input, a decision-tree model was adapted for Colombia to analyze data over 6 months from the government-payer perspective. The cost-effectiveness of amitriptyline, fluoxetine, and venlafaxine was determined. The clinical outcome was remission of depression (a score <7 on the Hamilton Depression [HAM-D] scale or <12 on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale [MADRS]) after 8 weeks of treatment. Clinical data were obtained from the literature and costs from standard Colombian price lists. One-way and multivariate sensitivity analyses tested model robustness. RESULTS: Costs per patient (in 2007 US$) for treatment were: venlafaxine, $1 618; fluoxetine, $1 207; and amitriptyline, $1 068. Overall remission rates were 73.1%, 64.1%, and 71.3%, respectively. Amitriptyline dominated fluoxetine (i.e., it had lower costs and higher outcomes). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of venlafaxine over amitriptyline was US$ 31 595. The acquisition price of venlafaxine was the model's cost driver, comprising 53.4% of the total cost/patient treated, compared with 18.5% and 24.8% for fluoxetine and amitriptyline, respectively. For the others, hospitalization comprised the major cost (72.1% and 65.2%, respectively). Probabilistic (Monte Carlo) sensitivity analysis confirmed the original findings of the pharmacoeconomic model. CONCLUSIONS: Amitriptyline is cost-effective in comparison to fluoxetine and venlafaxine in Colombia. However, the cost of venlafaxine was estimated for the brand-name product, as generics were not currently available. These cost-effectiveness results can be substantially affected by the presence of generics or drug cost regulations.

Keywords : Pharmaceutical economics; antidepressant agents; decision support techniques; Colombia.

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