Background:: Predictors of treatment outcome in major depressive disorder (MDD) could contribute to evidence-based therapeutic choices. Combined pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy show increased efficacy but higher cost compared with antidepressant pharmacotherapy; baseline predictors of pharmacotherapy resistance could be used to identify patients more likely to benefit from combined treatment. Methods:: We performed a proof-of-principle study of the cost-effectiveness of using previously identified pharmacogenetic and clinical risk factors (PGx-CL-R) of antidepressant resistance or clinical risk factors alone (CL-R) to guide the prescription of combined pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy vs pharmacotherapy. The cost-effectiveness of these two strategies was compared with standard care (ST, pharmacotherapy to all subjects) using a three-year Markov model. Model parameters were literature-based estimates of response to pharmacotherapy and combined treatment, costs (UK National Health System) and benefits (quality-adjusted life years [QALYs], one QALY=one year lived in perfect health). Results:: CL-R was more cost-effective than PGx-CL-R: the cost of one-QALY improvement was £2341 for CL-R and £3937 for PGx-CL-R compared to ST. PGx-CL-R had similar or better cost-effectiveness compared to CL-R when 1) the cost of genotyping was £100 per subject or less or 2) the PGx-CL-R test had sensitivity ≥ 0.90 and specificity ≥ 0.85. The cost of one-QALY improvement for CL-R was £3664 and of £4110 in two independent samples. Limitations:: lack of validation in large samples from the general population. Conclusions:: Using clinical risk factors to predict pharmacotherapy resistance and guide the prescription of pharmacotherapy combined with psychotherapy could be a cost-effective strategy.
- Treatment-Resistant Depression