Service Use and Costs of Treating Schizophrenia With Atypical Antipsychotics
J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(10):749-756
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: The high acquisition cost of the
atypical antipsychotics has prompted their closer clinical and
economic evaluation. This study aims to examine the financial
implications of using atypical antipsychotics in a defined
catchment area sample of patients with schizophrenia.
Method: Service costs over a 10-month period
were compared between groups of patients fulfilling DSM-IV
criteria for schizophrenia who were taking different atypical
Results: All patients studied were taking
clozapine (N = 31), risperidone (N = 19), or olanzapine (N = 41).
Clozapine was used in more chronic patients, while risperidone
and olanzapine were prescribed in both chronic and recently
diagnosed cases. After background group differences were
controlled for, patients on risperidone treatment incurred the
lowest costs. The monthly costs for the clozapine and olanzapine
groups were higher than for risperidone by US $246 and US $566,
Conclusion: Clozapine was reserved for more
severe forms of schizophrenia, but its cost impact was relatively
low. Risperidone, as prescribed in ordinary practice, may be more
cost-effective than olanzapine.