Facts on Access to Medications for People
with Depressive, Bipolar and Anxiety Illnesses

Positive Effects of Open Access to Medications are Enormous

  • Enhanced productivity – With appropriate treatment, most people with depression, bipolar and anxiety disorders are capable of working and contributing to the American tax base. In fact, a recent survey found that the majority of the costs of treating depression are offset by the increased productivity of the individuals who receive treatment.
  • Decreased public expenditures for hospital based services – The provision of appropriate treatment for these disorders decreases the necessity of crisis-oriented psychiatric services in inpatient treatment settings, the costs of which are frequently financed by publicly funded programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, or state mental health funds.
  • Lower burdens on law enforcement, courts and corrections – Police have become front line responders to people experiencing psychiatric crises in the U.S. Correctional facilities have become the largest de-facto psychiatric treatment facilities (10). The availability of timely and appropriate treatment for people with mental disorders will lessen significantly the considerable financial and human resource burdens that these roles entail. While people with serious mental illnesses are generally no more violent than the rest of society, the availability of appropriate treatment will also have a positive impact on public safety.
  • Healthier and more productive families – The availability of appropriate treatment for people with these disorders decreases burdens on family members to provide constant care, and thereby allows these family members to work and contribute more to society.

Next Page: The Evidence Base for Newer Anti-Depressant Medications

Policymakers Toolkit Home

Back to top