Cost-effectiveness of combinatorial pharmacogenomic testing for treatment-resistant major depressive disorder patients

Am J Manag Care. 2015 Jun 1;21(6):e357-65.


Objectives: To describe the lifetime outcomes and economic implications of combinatorial pharmacogenomic (CPGx) testing versus treatment as usual (TAU) psychopharmacologic medication selection for a representative major depressive disorder patient who has not responded to previous treatment(s).

Study design: Markov state-transition analysis based on clinical studies.

Methods: Clinical validity and utility were based on published findings in prospective clinical studies of a commercially available CPGx test. Data for quality of life, direct costs, and indirect costs were extracted from meta-analyses of published literature on clinical studies and claims databases. Outcomes were assessed from a societal perspective, and included differences between the CPGx and the TAU strategies in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), cumulative direct and indirect costs, and cost per QALY gained.

Results: CPGx improved the treatment response rate by 70% (1.7 times as high as that with TAU), increasing QALYs by 0.316 years. With these health benefits, CPGx is expected to save $3711 in direct medical costs per patient and $2553 in work productivity costs per patient over the lifetime. The cost-effectiveness of CPGx testing was robust over a wide range of variation in the input parameters, including the scenario when testing efficacy was set to its lower limit.

Conclusions: CPGx testing has been shown by prospective studies to modify treatment decisions for patients nonresponsive to previous treatment(s), with increased rates of treatment response. These effects are projected to increase quality-adjusted survival, and to save both direct and indirect costs to individual patients and society generally.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / economics
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / genetics*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Humans
  • Pharmacogenomic Testing / economics*
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years


  • Antidepressive Agents