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Major Depressive Disorder Underdiagnosed and Undertreated in Brazil

Jan 25, 2013
A recent study entitled “Prevalence, Awareness, Treatment, and Burden of Major Depressive Disorder: Estimates from the National Health and Wellness Survey in Brazil” published in Value in Health Regional Issues, examines the prevalence of MDD in Brazil along with awareness, diagnosis, treatment, and the association of MDD with health outcomes. The research was co-authored by Ronaldo K. Fujii, Joaquin Mould-Quevedo (Pfizer Inc.), Amir Goren, Kathy Annunziata (Kantar Health).

The study found that the level of drug treatment among MDD patients in Brazil was estimated to be 16%, which is less than half of that reported in the United States. Regardless of whether respondents were being treated for their MDD, they reported significantly greater work loss and significantly worse health status compared with those without MDD. In addition, individuals with MDD, both treated and untreated, visited their healthcare provider and were hospitalized significantly more often that those without MDD.

“Our study found that only 28% of Brazilians with MDD were diagnosed, and only 16% used prescription medication for their depression,” said Joaquín Mould-Quevedo, HEOR Senior Director for Latin America and Primary Care, with Pfizer. Amir Goren, Ph.D., Manager of Health Economics and Outcomes Research at Kantar Health, noted, “Our findings suggest the need for education campaigns to inform Brazilians about MDD and the potential for relieving their symptoms and improving their health outcomes.”

Value in Health Regional Issues (ISSN 2212-1099) is a scientific journal that encourages and enhances the science of pharmacoeconomic/health economic and health outcomes research and its use in health care decisions. The journal is published up to three times a year with one issue focusing on the Asia region, one issue focusing on the Latin America region, and one issue focusing on the Central & Eastern Europe, Western Asia and Africa regions.

The International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) is a nonprofit, international, educational and scientific organization that strives to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of health care resource use to improve health.

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