Express Scripts finds generic antidepressant users as adherent as brand-name counterparts

ST. LOUIS — Patients who take generic antidepressants will remain as adherent as those who take brand-name drugs to treat the condition, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by Express Scripts and published in the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy, found patients starting generic selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and generic selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors had a discontinuation rate of 44.2%, compared with 46.8% among those on brand-name SSRIs and SNRIs.

However, drug costs for those starting on generics were almost 50% lower. Similarly, total healthcare costs were about 20% lower — an average of $3,660 in patients starting on a generic, compared with $4,587 for those starting on a brand-name drug.

The study analyzed antidepressant usage from more than 16,000 patient records in MarketScan, a database of integrated pharmacy and medical claims from commercially insured patients.

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