Effects of oral versus long-acting antipsychotics on social functioning: A psychiatrists’ survey in India.

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Effects of oral versus long-acting antipsychotics on social functioning: A psychiatrists' survey in India.

Asian J Psychiatr. 2017 Aug 09;30:88-93

Authors: Gundugurti PR, Nagpal R, Sheth A, Narang P, Gawande S, Singh V

BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia is associated with functional challenges for patients; relapses in schizophrenia may lead to increased treatment costs and poor quality of life.
OBJECTIVE: This SUSTAIN-I study was conducted to establish psychiatrists' perspective on impact of long-acting injectables (LAIs) antipsychotics on the socio-economic and functional burden of schizophrenia.
METHODS: This cross-sectional, survey-based study was conducted in 5 cities in India. Psychiatrists (≥5years of experience) working in clinics, psychiatric, government hospitals and rehabilitation centers were included and administered a specially designed questionnaire to elicit information on their clinical practice and prescription patterns. Perceived treatment costs for LAI versus oral antipsychotic treatments (OATs) and relapse rates were assessed. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize results.
RESULTS: Total 31 physicians completed this survey. In acute phase, OAT prescription was higher whereas chronic patients were treated with either OATs or LAIs. Treatment with LAIs was the preferred treatment in 9% of chronic cases. Reduced relapse rates were observed with LAI treatment: 12% patients on LAIs relapsed as compared with 60% patients on OATs. Monthly medication cost for oral medications was lower ($8-$17) than short-acting injectables ($22-$50). For chronic cases, atypical antipsychotics cost (oral: $11.7-25, LAI: $150-167) was higher than typical antipsychotics (oral: $4-5, LAI: $5-25). Of the total expenses incurred, cost for hospital admissions was the largest component (78%).
CONCLUSION: Despite enhanced treatment adherence and potential to lower risk of rehospitalizations from relapse, LAIs are not the preferred treatment choice for patients with schizophrenia in India, owing to their perceived high costs.

PMID: 28843143 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]