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Cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and the budget impact of antidepressants versus preventive cognitive therapy with or without tapering of antidepressants

  • Nicola S. Klein (a1), Ben F. M. Wijnen (a2), Joran Lokkerbol (a3), Erik Buskens (a4), Hermien J. Elgersma (a5), Gerard D. van Rijsbergen (a6), Christien Slofstra (a7), Johan Ormel (a8), Jack Dekker (a9), Peter J. de Jong (a10), Willem A. Nolen (a11), Aart H. Schene (a12), Steven D. Hollon (a13), Huibert Burger (a14) and Claudi L. H. Bockting (a15)...

Abstract

Background

As depression has a recurrent course, relapse and recurrence prevention is essential.

Aims

In our randomised controlled trial (registered with the Nederlands trial register, identifier: NTR1907), we found that adding preventive cognitive therapy (PCT) to maintenance antidepressants (PCT+AD) yielded substantial protective effects versus antidepressants only in individuals with recurrent depression. Antidepressants were not superior to PCT while tapering antidepressants (PCT/−AD). To inform decision-makers on treatment allocation, we present the corresponding cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and budget impact.

Method

Data were analysed (n = 289) using a societal perspective with 24-months of follow-up, with depression-free days and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) as health outcomes. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were calculated and cost-effectiveness planes and cost-effectiveness acceptability curves were derived to provide information about cost-effectiveness. The budget impact was examined with a health economic simulation model.

Results

Mean total costs over 24 months were €6814, €10 264 and €13 282 for AD+PCT, antidepressants only and PCT/−AD, respectively. Compared with antidepressants only, PCT+AD resulted in significant improvements in depression-free days but not QALYs. Health gains did not significantly favour antidepressants only versus PCT/−AD. High probabilities were found that PCT+AD versus antidepressants only and antidepressants only versus PCT/−AD were dominant with low willingness-to-pay thresholds. The budget impact analysis showed decreased societal costs for PCT+AD versus antidepressants only and for antidepressants only versus PCT/−AD.

Conclusions

Adding PCT to antidepressants is cost-effective over 24 months and PCT with guided tapering of antidepressants in long-term users might result in extra costs. Future studies examining costs and effects of antidepressants versus psychological interventions over a longer period may identify a break-even point where PCT/−AD will become cost-effective.

Declaration of interest

C.L.H.B. is co-editor of PLOS One and receives no honorarium for this role. She is also co-developer of the Dutch multidisciplinary clinical guideline for anxiety and depression, for which she receives no remuneration. She is a member of the scientific advisory board of the National Insure Institute, for which she receives an honorarium, although this role has no direct relation to this study. C.L.H.B. has presented keynote addresses at conferences, such as the European Psychiatry Association and the European Conference Association, for which she sometimes receives an honorarium. She has presented clinical training workshops, some including a fee. She receives royalties from her books and co-edited books and she developed preventive cognitive therapy on the basis of the cognitive model of A. T. Beck. W.A.N. has received grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development and the European Union and honoraria and speakers' fees from Lundbeck and Aristo Pharma, and has served as a consultant for Daleco Pharma.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Claudi L. H. Bockting, Department of Psychiatry, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam; University of Groningen, Grote Kruisstraat 2/1 9712 TS Groningen, the Netherlands. Email: c.l.bockting@amc.uva.nl

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Cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and the budget impact of antidepressants versus preventive cognitive therapy with or without tapering of antidepressants

  • Nicola S. Klein (a1), Ben F. M. Wijnen (a2), Joran Lokkerbol (a3), Erik Buskens (a4), Hermien J. Elgersma (a5), Gerard D. van Rijsbergen (a6), Christien Slofstra (a7), Johan Ormel (a8), Jack Dekker (a9), Peter J. de Jong (a10), Willem A. Nolen (a11), Aart H. Schene (a12), Steven D. Hollon (a13), Huibert Burger (a14) and Claudi L. H. Bockting (a15)...
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