Published: 2017-03-25

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

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