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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181cb5b10
Original Articles

Assessing the Relationship Between Compliance With Antidepressant Therapy and Employer Costs Among Employees in the United States.

Birnbaum, Howard G. PhD; Ben-Hamadi, Rym MSc; Kelley, David BS; Hsieh, Matthew BA; Seal, Brian PhD; Kantor, Evan BA; Cremieux, Pierre Y. PhD; Greenberg, Paul E. MA, MS

Continued Medical Education
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Objective: To assess effects of antidepressant treatment compliance on health care and workplace costs.

Methods: By using workplace survey data linked to two employers' health care claims, employees with depression/antidepressant claims were categorized into noncompliant/compliant groups. Annualized costs were compared between compliance groups, for the employees with antidepressant use and a subset diagnosed with depression.

Results: Among antidepressant users (N = 1224), medical costs were not statistically different for compliant versus noncompliant patients; drug costs were higher for compliant patients, primarily because of antidepressants' costs. Similar associations were observed among depressed patients (N = 488). Absenteeism costs were lower for compliant patients with antidepressant use ($3857 vs $4,907, P = 0.041) and among depressed patients ($3976 vs $5899, P = 0.047). Presenteeism costs were higher for depressed compliant patients ($19,170 vs $15,829, P = 0.011).

Conclusions: Increased compliance with antidepressants is significantly associated with reduced absenteeism costs.

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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