Background: Depression is a disorder that disrupts the public health through factors such as its occurrence, distress, ill health, and economic burden. There is a wide variation in the prices of antidepressant drugs marketed in India.
Aims and Objective: To find out the price variations in the oral antidepressant drugs available in India either as a single drug or in combination and to evaluate the differences in the cost of various brands of the same oral antidepressant drug by calculating the percentage variation in cost in Indian rupees.
Materials and Methods: The cost of a particular drug being manufactured by different companies, in the same strength and dosage forms, was obtained from Current Index of Medical Specialties JulyOctober, 2014, and Indian Drug Review, 2014;21(4). The difference between the maximum and minimum prices of the same drug and the percentage variation in the prices was calculated.
Result: The prices of a total of 25 drugs (21 single and 4 combination preparations) available in 66 different formulations were analyzed. In single drug therapy, among tricyclic antidepressants, reboxetine (2 mg) showed the maximum price variation of 900%. In atypical antidepressants, bupropion hydrochloride (150 mg) showed the maximum price variation of 447.94%. In selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), paroxetine (37.5 mg) showed the maximum price variation of 1116.66%. In serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), Venlafaxine hydrochloride (37.5 mg) showed the maximum price variation of 246.15%. In monoamine oxidase (MAO)-A inhibitors, moclobemide (150 mg) showed the maximum price variation of 246.15%. In combination therapies, chlordiazepoxide with amitriptyline showed the maximum price variation of 227.23%.
Conclusion: The average percentage variations of different brands of the same drug manufactured in India is very wide. The management of the marketing drugs should be directed toward maximizing the therapeutic benefits to the community and minimizing the economic burden.
Key words: Antidepressants; Price Variation; DPCO