Providing the test as a standard part of care could save $956 million over 20 years for the healthcare system in B.C. alone. More than 35 antidepressants are available in Canada but nearly half of patients don’t respond to the first medication they’re prescribed and about a quarter of those report intolerable side-effects. About 37% of patients who don’t respond to medications are deemed to have treatment-resistant depression, sometimes after they give up trying out of frustration, at which point they may need more doctors’ visits, including psychotherapy. They could also end up in hospital for electroconvulsive therapy or other treatment, adding to healthcare costs. The study also showed 1,869 lives could be saved over 20 years.
November 14, 2023