PhRMA releases calculator for businesses to detect depression and related costs

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The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America released a new Web-based tool Monday that will let employers calculate the financial benefits of treating workers who have depression. The calculator will compute the expected number of days each year that employees will be absent or be less productive because of depression, using detailed algorithms. It also calculates the costs of the absences and the net savings if employees are treated.

According to PhRMA, each depressed employee cost a company 30 to 50 workdays each year. Even a company with 500 employees will have about 25 employees that cope with depression at some time during a 12-month period, resulting in 750 to 1,250 days lost each year, the association said.

Missed days, lower productivity, and other similar issues costs the U.S. economy approximately $80 billion annually, according to PhRMA.

PhRMA presented the calculator at the Integrated Healthcare Leadership Summit of the Disease Management Association of America in Washington, D.C.