Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When Physical And Mental Health Problems Co-occur And Money Gets Tight, Which Prescriptions Go Unfilled?

Date:
April 7, 2009
Source:
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Summary:
A new study points to a troubling connection between out-of-pocket expenses for people contending with both physical illnesses and depression, affecting access to antidepressant treatment.

A new study points to a troubling connection between out-of-pocket expenses for people contending with both physical illnesses and depression, affecting access to antidepressant treatment.

Dr. Carolyn Dewa, head of the Work and Well-being Research and Evaluation Program at the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and her team explored whether the amount of money spent on medication before a disability episode impacts medication use among workers on depression-related disability. This study built on previous research that revealed workers on depression-related short-term disability improved with antidepressant treatment.

"The results raised concerns about the treatment choices people are making," Dr. Dewa said. "As an example, if a worker's prior out-of-pocket expenses for medication associated with heart disease were $500, the probability of filling an antidepressant prescription was only 40 percent."

The CAMH team analyzed administrative disability data for three large firms with approximately 63,000 employees nationwide. The analysis, published in Healthcare Policy revealed that workers on depression-related short-term disability are more likely to fill a prescription for antidepressant medication if they have previously purchased antidepressants. This suggests that the medication is viewed as necessary, which may point to increased adherence to antidepressants, an issue that is frequently of concern in depression treatment.

At the same time, a worker on depression-related short-term disability is less likely to fill a prescription for antidepressant medication if the worker already is paying high out-of-pocket costs for medications to treat physical disorders such as heart disease or asthma (about 50 percent of employees studied had a co-morbid chronic physical disorder).

This phenomenon may be a barrier to accessing antidepressant treatment, which could delay taking necessary medication, impacting not only a person's recovery, but also a company's bottom line. Approximately one third of work-related productivity losses can be attributed to an employee being either unproductive or unable to function at full capacity because of depression. While recommended use of anti-depressants is associated with increased productivity and decreased disability, depression treatment is often complicated by physical disorders (e.g. heart disease, ulcers, hypertension, and asthma) that also require prescription drug treatment.

According to Dr. Dewa, a delay in use could cost an average of $2,924 extra (based on the average hourly wage of $21.66) per worker on depression-related short-term disability.

As Dr. Dewa explains, these findings highlight the dilemma faced by many employers – the desire to control rising costs of prescription drug benefits must be balanced with the fact that it's important not to create barriers to treatment. More research is needed to evaluate if drug benefits should be changed for workers on depression-related disability leave, especially those with a chronic physical condition.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "When Physical And Mental Health Problems Co-occur And Money Gets Tight, Which Prescriptions Go Unfilled?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090407105303.htm>.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2009, April 7). When Physical And Mental Health Problems Co-occur And Money Gets Tight, Which Prescriptions Go Unfilled?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090407105303.htm
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "When Physical And Mental Health Problems Co-occur And Money Gets Tight, Which Prescriptions Go Unfilled?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090407105303.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins