New data shows prescribers how to cut the cost of schizophrenia care while relieving patient distress

A major new study evaluating the cost-effectiveness (1,901 patients, 61 centres, 9 countries) of atypical antipsychotics in schizophrenia have shown that treatment with Risperdal (risperidone) is 50% less expensive than olanzapine, with no difference in clinical outcomes1.

Professor Martin Knapp, professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics explained, "The major costs of treating schizophrenia result from hospitalisation, with drug costs only accounting for less than 5 percent of the direct medical costs. We already know that atypical antipsychotics are clinically superior to conventional antipsychotics and this in itself has cost saving implications. Indeed, treatment with the atypical antipsychotic Risperdal has been shown to reduce the risk of relapse by as much as 30% when compared to an older therapy such as haloperidol2".

The objective of the RODOS pharmacoeconomic study (Risperidone Olanzapine Drug Outcomes study in Schizophrenia conducted by the Janssen Research Foundation) was to compare the cost-effectiveness of two atypical antipsychotic medications, Risperdal and olanzapine, in the treatment of schizophrenia in a naturalistic clinical setting.

Study results showed that the daily cost of the studied medication was 50% higher for olanzapine than for Risperdal (mean $6.50 USD +/- $2.30 for olanzapine versus $3.70 USD +/- $1.90 for Risperdal) and this evidence was consistent and conclusive across all countries and centres (p<0.0001). Total costs for all inpatient drug use were also significantly different (p<0.0001) and were substantially higher in the olanzapine group than in the Risperdal group (mean $297.5 +/- $301.10 USD for olanzapine versus mean $159.9 +/- $183.3 USD in Risperdal group). Patients treated with Risperdal were also discharged sooner than patients being treated with olanzapine. This result was reflected in the shorter length of stay in hospital among Risperdal patients (mean 43.6 days versus 47.4 d

Contact: Roseann Ward

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