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 days) rather than olanzapine patients.
"These results are good news because better treatment for schizophrenia should reduce the burden of illness for patients and their families, as well as the costs to healthcare budgets and society at large. This has significant implications for prescribing by psychiatrists and primary care specialists around the world," said Professor Siegfried Kasper MD, professor and chairman, Department of General Psychiatry, University of Vienna.
"Sub-optimal treatment of schizophrenia perpetuates the enormous human burden on patients and their families. We now know the profound impact that newer antipsychotic medications can have on improving patients' lives. We should be working towards the widespread adoption of new therapies, including the new atypical antipsychotics, which have proven benefits in terms of cost and outcomes" said Gary Hogman of the National Schizophrenia Fellowship, UK.
Janssen Pharmaceutica is headquartered in Beerse, Belgium. Risperdal is marketed globally by Janssen-Cilag, and in partnership with NV Organon in the European Union (except for Italy, Spain and Finland, where it is marketed by Janssen-Cilag only), Norway, Switzerland, Brazil and Argentina. Janssen Pharmaceutica has been a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies since 1961. Johnson & Johnson is the world's largest and most comprehensive manufacturer of healthcare products, serving the pharmaceutical, professional and consumer markets.
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1. "Risperidone and Olanzapine Drug Outcomes Study in Schizophrenia". Presented at Risperdal: From Experience to Confidence, 27th April 2000, Madrid, Spain. 2. Csernansky, J et al. Risperidone vs. haloperidol for prevention of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders: A long term double-blind comparison". Presented at the 11th World Congress of Psychiatry, 6-11th August, Hamburg, Germany.