Factors associated with the type of psychotropic medications purchased for common mental disorders in the largest managed care organization in Israel Academic Article uri icon


  • To evaluate patient and physician characteristics associated with the type of psychotropic medications (anti-anxiety, antidepressant, or both) purchased. The Clalit Health Care Services is the largest managed care health fund in Israel, a country that employs a universal healthcare system. We randomly sampled 30,000 primary care patients over the age of 22 as of January, 2006. Overall, 2,217 purchased either antidepressant or antianxiety medications at least once during the year 2006 and had no prior purchases during the last quarter of 2005. The majority (1,518; 68.4%) purchased only anti-anxiety medications and as many as 264 (12%) purchased both anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications. The remaining 435 (19.6%) patients purchased only antidepressant medications. Physician level characteristics explained only a small portion of the variance and, thus, were not included in further analysis. Several patient level characteristics, including age, somatic, and psychiatric diagnosis were associated with the purchase of different types of medications. Contrary to clinical guidelines, the purchase of anti-anxiety medications is more prevalent than the purchase of antidepressant medications. In a managed care setting, patient characteristics have a greater role in determining purchasing patterns than provider characteristics; potentially, because of the managed care characteristics that actively guide the care provided to patients.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012