A meta-analysis of more than 60 clinical studies covering almost 60,000 adult patients estimates that the total cost in the United States of the treatment of patients with depression is in the range of $188 billion to $200 billion.
Roughly a third of all costs ($64 billion) are related to people with treatment-resistant depression, who represent only a fraction of all cases.
The article, “A Review of the Clinical, Economic, and Societal Burden of Treatment-Resistant Depression: 1996-2013” was published August 1 in Psychiatric Services.
Combined annual costs (including health care and productivity losses) for people with treatment-resistant depression were almost double the costs for people with treatment-responsive depression and four times the health related costs for the general population ($20,120 vs. $10,592 vs. $5,095).
The costs of depression are higher than recent cost estimates for cancer ($131 billion) and diabetes ($173 billion) yet total funding for the treatment of depression from NIH is far less than funding for research on the treatment of cancer or diabetes.