Analysis Group Researchers Use Novel “Bottom-up” Approach to Estimate Prevalence and Burden of Treatment-Resistant Depression and Major Depressive Disorder in the US

June 10, 2021

Estimates of the prevalence of treatment-resistant depression (TRD) in the US population have varied widely in the scientific literature, in part because the condition lacks a universally accepted definition. It is clear, however, that TRD imposes a substantial economic burden in the US, as several recent studies have shown. These studies have used the same definition of TRD and have assessed its per-person economic burden across of a variety of insurance payer types.

An article by researchers from Analysis Group – including Managing Principal Patrick Lefebvre, Vice President Dominic Pilon, Manager Masha Zhdanava, and Senior Research Professional Isabelle Ghelerter – and Janssen Scientific Affairs builds on these earlier studies by constructing a cost model to estimate the prevalence of TRD and the economic burden of both TRD and medication-treated major depressive disorder (MDD). Using the most widely accepted definition of TRD, the authors synthesized real-world data from earlier TRD studies across four payer types – Medicare, Medicaid, commercial plans, and the US Veterans Health Administration – and complemented this information with data related to work productivity and unemployment from the 2017 National Health and Wellness Survey.

The resulting cost model estimated 8.9 million adults with medication-treated MDD, of whom 2.8 million (30.9%) had TRD. The total annual burden of medication-treated MDD among the US population was $92.7 billion, with $43.8 billion (47.2%) attributable to TRD. A clear implication of the findings is that TRD is a disproportionately burdensome condition, and its effective management could result in significant social and economic improvements.

The article, “The Prevalence and National Burden of Treatment-Resistant Depression and Major Depressive Disorder in the United States,” is published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

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