Microsoft word - anti-depressiva.htm

Salt Lake Tribune vom 21.6.2001, "Utahns No.1 in Use of Antidepressants", by Troy Goodman. Utahns pop more Prozac-style anti-depressant drugs than do the people of any other
state, according to a new study.

The high anti-depressant use could mean Utahns are getting the drugs they need, as prescribed by
their doctors, compared with prescription rates in other states. Or it could be an indicator that Utahns
are more depressed than the rest of America, said state epidemiologist Robert Rolfs, who was not
involved in the research.
"This study doesn't mean everybody is on anti-depressants," Rolfs said. "We do know there's a lot of
variation in medical practices, and people and their doctors do things differently in different states."
Overall, though, most health care experts said they already knew Utah topped the country's Prozac,
Zoloft, Paxil and Clomipramine use just by watching the number of depressed patients balloon.
"It looks about right," said Jim Jorgenson, director of pharmacy services for the University of Utah's
hospital and clinic system.
The study, released this week, found the type and frequency of prescription drugs consumers take
depends partly on where they live. Data were based on medical claims made to Express Scripts, a St.
Louis-based pharmacy benefit management company considered one of the country's largest drug
management firms.
People in Utah, Maine and Oregon take more anti-depressants than the residents of any other state,
while those in California, New York and New Jersey take the least, the study said.
But Utah's anti-depressant use ranked remarkably higher than most states, averaging 1.1
prescriptions per person per year, compared with the national average of about 0.7.
Express Scripts senior researcher Brenda Motheral said the company looked at claims of 2 million
Amer- icans enrolled in commercial and managed-care health plans last year. The results include
adults with jobs and their dependents, but not prescription drug users enrolled in government-
sponsored programs such as Medicare or Medicaid.
Motheral said high anti-depressant use in rugged states with poor weather, short summers and lots of
economic woes -- such as Maine and Oregon -- was not surprising. "But with Utah, those [factors]
didn't stick with us," she said. No further Express Scripts study is planned to find out why the state
ranked so high.
The study found that in 45 states, including Utah, about 5 percent of patients racked up half of all drug
expenditures to insurers, company benefit plans or third-party administrators in health care.
Intermountain Health Care, which said it did not use Express Scripts because it relies on in-house
pharmacy control, has seen overall spending on drugs double since last year. The hike in pharmacy
costs is especially troubling as IHC pharmacy costs had been dropping steadily in previous years, a
company spokesman said.
Motheral said reasons vary as to why patients in Utah take more anti-depressants. Consumer
preference as well as differences in risk factors can cause regional variations, she said.
Utah also came in high in terms of anti-diabetic medication use, along with analgesic (high-dose pain
pills) and anti-inflammatories, the report found." (kompletter Artikel)
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