TRC Conversation: Preventing Untreated Depression

Nov 18, 2014
Interventions from specialist pharmacists in the Neuroscience Therapeutic Resource Center® help patients gain a better understanding of their treatment regimen.
  • Depression

What Happened?

A 55-year-old woman was taking Wellbutrin® (buproprion) to treat depression, but the medication was not effective.  

Clinical Gaps in Care

Failure rates for antidepressants are approximately 50%. Patients often stop taking their medication because it's not working.

It's common for prescribers to change to another antidepressant or to augment with another medication. This typically occurs within the first few weeks if there is no response or after eight to 12 weeks if there is a partial response. 

This patient had been taking the medication routinely for six months without a benefit.

Specialist Pharmacist Intervention

The patient contacted Express Scripts and requested to speak to a specialist pharmacist.

Not all antidepressants are effective, and this patient needed a new dose, different antidepressant or adjunctive therapy. The specialist pharmacist guided the member to the prescriber to evaluate her treatment.

Case Study Effective Depression Treatment

"These medications help to regulate normalized chemicals within the brain. By doing so it helps to keep the sense of depression and anxiety under control and really help you get the highest quality of life."

Why It Matters

Untreated depression increases the risk of suicide, affects workplace productivity and increases employer cost in lost workdays.

People with depression also are more likely to have other medical conditions, such as heart diseases or diabetes, and are less likely to follow therapy for those problems adding to their disease burden.

By finding a medication that works better for this patient, she can achieve healthier outcomes.

A strong roster of specialist pharmacists focusing on patients with needs in a specific area, like neuroscience, is one of the unique ways Express Scripts helps patients stay on the right treatment and avoid unnecessary, harmful events. We call it Health Decision Science®: the application of clinical specialization and behavioral sciences combined with actionable data to enable better decisions and healthier outcomes.

Click to download an overview of this conversation.

Author Bio

Lab Staff
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