Cost-utility comparison of escitalopram and sertraline in the treatment of major depressive disorder

Edward P. Armstrong, Grant H. Skrepnek, M. Haim Erder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: To construct a cost-utility model comparing escitalopram with sertraline in the treatment of major depressive disorders. Methods: A decision analytic model was created to compare the cost-utility of these two antidepressants from the perspective of a managed-care organization. The model was designed to compare 10-20 mg/day of escitalopram to 50-200 mg/day of sertraline. Benefits (utility) scores were calculated based on clinical and utility data obtained from the literature. Direct medical costs included costs of the antidepressants, titration, treatment failures, and adverse events. Costs and benefits were modeled for a 6-month period and the model was subjected to thorough sensitivity analyses. Results: The estimated 6-month total cost was $919 for escitalopram and $1351 for sertraline. The estimated QALYs were 0.40296 for escitalopram and 0.39268 for sertraline. These differences were mostly due to differences in drug acquisition costs and adverse events. The robustness of the cost-utility model results were tested in a Monte Carlo simulation of 10 000 patients and it indicated an 88.5% probability that escitalopram was the dominant therapy, suggesting both lower costs and greater QALYs. Conclusion: This cost-utility model that incorporated the costs of titration and impact of side-effects comparing escitalopram 10-20 mg per day and sertraline 50-200 mg per day shows that escitalopram appeared to be less costly and produced efficacy (utility) at least as good as and maybe slightly better than that of sertraline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Medical Research and Opinion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Cost-utility
  • Escitalopram
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Sertraline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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