Cost and effectiveness of venlafaxine extended-release and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the acute phase of outpatient treatment for major depressive disorder

Madhukar H. Trivedi, George J. Wan, Rajiv Mallick, Jieling Chen, Roman Casciano, Erika C. Geissler, Jessica M. Panish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this retrospective analysis was to estimate the cost and effectiveness of venlafaxine extended-release (VXR) compared with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the outpatient treatment of major depressive disorder. Methods: Pooled data from 8, 8-week, randomized, double-blind studies comparing treatment of major depressive disorder with venlafaxine/venlafaxine XR (n = 851), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (fluoxetine, paroxetine, fluvoxamine; n = 748), or placebo (4 studies; n = 446) were retrospectively analyzed to determine the economic implications of symptom remission from the perspective of a US third party payer and that of an employer. A decision modeling approach was used to determine cost and effectiveness ratios. Results: Patients on VXR were associated with 22.8 depression-free days versus 18.6 depression-free days with the studied selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, based on the decision model. Productive and quality-adjusted days were also expected to increase for VXR patients (22.06 vs. 19.34 and 4.56 to 9.36 vs. 3.72 to 7.63), as was the percentage of patients achieving full activity (25.9% vs. 19.6%). The expected cost per patient achieving remission of symptoms was US$1303.94 and US$1514.96, and the cost per depression-free days was US$25.66 and US$28.25, for the VXR and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors groups, respectively. Conclusions: Treatment with VXR is not only expected to increase the rate of remission of symptoms but is also associated with achievement of full activity, higher number of depression-free days, productive days, and quality-adjusted days. VXR is a cost-effective treatment option for major depressive disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-506
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of clinical psychopharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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