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Changes in Perceived Health and Functioning as a Cost-Effectiveness Measure for Olanzapine Versus Haloperidol Treatment of Schizophrenia

Sandra L. Tunis, PhD; Bryan M. Johnstone, PhD; P. Joseph Gibson, PhD; Danielle L. Loosbrock, MHA; and Brian K. Dulisse, PhD

Published: August 1, 1999

Article Abstract

We utilize data from a large, double-blind, randomized clinical trial of treatment for schizophrenia to compare the effect of therapy with the second generation antipsychotic olanzapine versus therapy with the conventional agent haloperidol on the perceived functioning and well-being of patients over 1 year as measured by the Medical Outcome Study Short Form (SF-36). We also compare the total cost of care between the treatment groups over 1 year and combine cost and functional outcomes information to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness of both therapies in this sample. Over 1 year of therapy, patients receiving olanzapine experienced a mean of 5.75 units greater improvement than did haloperidol-treated patients on the physical health and functioning factor of the SF-36 and 1.66 units greater improvement on the mental health and functioning factor. The mean annual total cost of care, including the cost of medication therapies, was $9386.87 less for olanzapine-treated patients than for haloperidol-treated patients. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for olanzapine versus haloperidol treatment indicated a savings of $1632.50 per unit of improvement in the SF-36 physical health and functioning score and a savings of $5654.74 per unit of improvement in the mental health and functioning composite. Improvements in perceived health and functioning were also associated with reduction in hospital costs in the full sample. These findings suggest that patient-centered measures of functioning such as the SF-36 are an important component of the evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of novel treatments for schizophrenia.

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