Patient, Healthcare, Employer and Societal Impact of Depression
The scale of the problem
Depression is a very common, serious, and in a significant number of cases life-threatening condition. The illness affects around 350 million people globally and it is predicted to become the greatest cause of disability worldwide by 2030.*
Getting the medication right first time is difficult
All patients are different and more than 50% of patients fail to respond to the first antidepressant treatment they are prescribed. Around two thirds of patients fail to respond to their second treatment and around 80% fail to respond to their third treatment. Therefore, it can take months before a physician identifies the most effective anti-depressant therapy for their patient. Prior to the eH-ETB, there were no predictive tools available to help physicians identify an effective treatment for patients with depression.
What this means for patients and their families
Depression severely impairs a patient’s ability to work and function socially, individuals may be absent from work for many months and this places a substantial burden on them and their families.
What this means for healthcare services
Repeated patient consultations, additional costs of ineffective drugs and dispensing time coupled with the increasing incidence of depression puts increasing pressure on healthcare budgets.
What this means for employers
Functional disability from depression causes absenteeism and presenteeism resulting in a significant loss of productivity.
Improvements in managing the treatment of depression are urgently needed to help to contain rising healthcare costs, increase workplace productivity and address the increasing economic and societal challenges of the illness for the global economy.
*World Health Organization, Global Burden of Disease, 2004 update