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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Amir Krivoy
Affiliation:
Clalit Research Institute, Tel Aviv, Geha Mental Health Center, Petah Tiqva, and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. Email: amir.krivoy@gmail.com
Ran D. Balicer
Affiliation:
Clalit Research Institute, Tel Aviv, Public Health Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel
Becca Feldman
Affiliation:
Clalit Research Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel
Moshe Hoshen
Affiliation:
Clalit Research Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel
Gil Zalsman
Affiliation:
Geha Mental Health Center, Petah Tiqva, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, and Division of Molecular Imaging and Neuropathology, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, USA
Abraham Weizman
Affiliation:
Geha Mental Health Center, Petah Tiqva, Felsenstein Medical Research Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv
Gal Shoval
Affiliation:
Clalit Research Institute, Tel Aviv, Geha Mental Health Center, Petah Tiqva, and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
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Abstract

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Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2015 

We thank Grover & Abbas for their thoughtful comments on our paper. Most of the points they raise are appropriate and valid. Unfortunately, analysis of a large database (nationwide scale) has its strengths and limitations, including lack of access to some variables, as they suggested. The findings in our paper are indeed associational and not causative. Therefore, any notion regarding the causal effect of antidepressant adherence on mortality is speculative and validation in a prospective interventional study is required. It is possible that adherence to antidepressant treatment affects survival through moderators that were not examined in our study. Nevertheless, it appears that better adherence to antidepressants in patients with ischaemic heart disease is associated with increased survival rate. It is of note that our measure of adherence is unique in combining data regarding both prescribed and purchased prescriptions (unfortunately we did not have data on actual consumption of the pills). Most of the epidemiological studies on adherence use only purchase data as a measure of adherence. Therefore, we believe that our adherence measure reflects better the level of antidepressant adherence compared with previous similar studies.

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