Cost variation analysis study of oral anti-depressant drugs available in India

Chaithra K. N., Laxminarayana Kamath


Background: Depression is a disorder of major public health importance, in terms of its prevalence and the suffering, dysfunction, morbidity and economic burden. In India, the overall prevalence of depression is reported to be 15.9%. Antidepressant drugs are available in many different brands and costs of all brands are different. Patients of depression have to take the antidepressant drug for a long duration, so cost of the antidepressant drug influence the patient adherence to treatment and it is one of the important part of rational prescription.

Methods: The cost of a particular drug being manufactured by different companies in the same strength and dosage forms was obtained from “Current Index of Medical Specialties” July-October, 2015, and “”. The cost ratio and percentage cost variation was calculated.

Results: The prices of a total of 28 drugs (22 single and 6 combination preparations) available in 64 different formulations were analyzed. In single drug therapy, among Tri cyclic antidepressants (TCAs), Reboxetine (2 mg) showed the maximum price variation of 900%. In SSRIs, Dapoxetine (30 mg) showed the maximum price variation of 2360%. In SNRIs, Venlafaxine (75 mg) showed the maximum price variation of 109%. In Atypical antidepressants, Bupropion (150 mg) showed the maximum price variation of 515.38%. In RIMAs, Moclobemide (150 mg) showed the maximum price variation of 246.15% and in combination therapies, Amitriptyline with Chlordiazepoxide showed the maximum price variation of 129.35%.

Conclusions: This study shows a wide variation in the prices of oral Anti-depressant drugs available in India. Psychiatrist/ Physician should consider the cost while prescribing antidepressant drugs. India being developing country most of the people belong to poor socioeconomic status, so prescribing same generic drug with low cost reduces economic burden and improves patient adherence to treatment which results in better outcome.


Antidepressant drugs, Brands, Cost analysis, Cost ratio, Price variation

Full Text:



Lopez AD, Mathers CD, Ezzati M, Jamison DT, Murray CJ. Global Burden of Disease and Risk Factors. Washington: The World Bank; 2006.

Poongothai S, Pradeepa R, Ganesan A, Mohan V. Prevalence of depression in a large urban South Indian population-The Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study (CURES-70). PloS One. 2009;4:E7185.

Pothen M, Kuruvilla A, Philip K, Joseph A, Jacob KS. Common mental disorders among primary care attenders in Vellore, South India: Nature, prevalence and risk factors. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2003;49:119- 25.

Amin G, Shah S, Vankar GK. The prevalence and recognition of depression in primary care. Indian J Psychiatry. 1998;40:364-39.

WHO: Depression -A Global Public Health Concern. 2012.

Reddy MS. Depression: The disorder and the burden. Indian J Psychol Med. 2010;32:12.

Das SC, Mandal M, Mandal SC. A critical study on availability and price variation between different brands: Impact on access to medicines. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2007;69(1):160‑3.

Patel V, Chatterjji S, Chisholm D, Ebrahim S, Gopalakrishna G, Mathers C. Chronic diseases and injuries in India. Lancet. 2011;377(9763):413-28.

Paunikar AP, Bhave KA. Cost analysis of oral antidepressant drugs available in India. Nat J Physiol Pharm Pharmacol. 2015;5(5):1-5.

Patel BJ, Patel KH, Patel MP. Antidepressant drugs: evaluation of price variation. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2015;4(3):432-37.

Jadhav NB, Bhosale MS, Adhav CV. Cost analysis study of oral antidiabetic drugs available in Indian market. Int J Med Res Health Sci. 2013;2(1):63-9.

Compendium of notified ceiling prices of scheduled drugs. NPPA; 2015.

Jana S, Mondal P. Pharmacoeconomics: the need to sensitize undergraduate medical students. Indian J Pharmacol. 2005;37:277-8.

Tondare SB, Bhave KA. Cost analysis of oral antipsychotic drugs available in the Indian market. Int J Pharm Sci Rev Res. 2014;29(2):267-70.

Date AP, Mahajan HM, Dashputra AV, Bhosale RR. Study of variation in price of various antidiabetic drugs available in Indian market. Int J Basic Clin Pharm. 2015;4:36-40.

Karve AV, Chattar KB. Cost analysis study of oral antihypertensive agents available in Indian market. IJBCP. 2014;3(3):479-83.

Roy N, Madhiwala N. Promotional Practices of Pharmaceutical Firms in India. Forum for Medical Ethics, Mumbai; 2004.

Lofolm PW, Katzug BG. Rational prescribing and prescription writing. In: katzung BG, editor. Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. 9th Ed. New York: McGraw Hill; 2004:1091-1100.

Kamath L, Satish GR. Cost Variation Analysis of Antihypertensive Drugs Available in Indian Market: An Economic Perspective. Int J Pharm Sci Res. 2016;7(5):2050-56.