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.