This review considers the various ways in which economics intersects with depression and its treatment - from descriptions of the cost impact of the illness and cost-effectiveness (or similar) evaluations of treatment options to the economic incentives that often drive new structural arrangements for the delivery of mental health care, such as managed care. The evidence base on the economics of depression treatment is building up well. There are, however, lamentably few economic enquiries - or indeed studies of any description - in countries outside the developed world, and one priority for the future is surely to extend the range of economic and other evaluations into those parts of the world which are labouring under such an enormous burden of psychiatric morbidity associated especially with depression.
aCentre for the Economics of Mental Health, Health Services Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, and bLSE Health and Social Care, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK
Correspondence to Martin Knapp, Centre for the Economics of Mental Health, Health Services Research Department, The David Goldberg Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK. Tel: +44 020 7848 0174; fax: +44 020 7701 7600; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org