Cost variation study of antidepressant drugs

Ajay Kumar Shukla, Parag Sharma


Background: Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses, each affecting in excess of 10-15% of the population at some time in their lives. Approximately 10-15% of those with severe depression attempt suicide at some point of time. Thus, it is important that symptoms of depression be recognized and treated appropriately.

Methods: The prices of 15 antidepressant drugs, available in 43 different formulations were analyzed. Costs of different brands of a particular generic antidepressant drug being manufactured by different companies, in the same strength and dosage forms were used to calculate cost ratio and percentage cost variation.

Results: This study shows that there is a wide variation in the prices of different brands of same antidepressant drug in Indian market. The highest cost ratio and percent cost variation was found for amitriptyline 50 mg, followed by bupropion 25 mg, amitriptyline 75 mg and dosulepin 50 mg. Highest number of brands of antidepressant drugs available in Indian market are for escitalopram 10 mg followed by escitalopram 5 mg and 20 mg.

Conclusions: There is wide price variation of different brands of the same generic antidepressant drug in Indian market. Cost of a drug plays an important role in treatment of depression as it follows a long course and adherence to the treatment is related with drug cost. To decrease the wide cost variation among different brands of antidepressant drugs; it is high time to generate physician awareness about impact of cost effectiveness of drug regimen and for regulation of drug prices by the concerned agencies.


Cost analysis, Compliance, Adherence, Depression, Health Economics, Cost variation

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