Patients, physicians, health insurers, and pharmaceutical manufacturers
all have a considerable interest in the initial selection of an antidepressant
drug. Patients and physicians hope to minimize the trial and error needed
to find the treatment with the greatest benefit and the fewest risks or adverse
effects. Health insurers hope to satisfy patients and insurance purchasers
while minimizing drug acquisition costs. Manufacturers hope to demonstrate
a unique advantage for a specific drug, either for all patients or specific
subgroups of patients. Such an advantage would reduce the need to compete
based on lowest price.
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