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Background: Patients having chronic schizophrenia with frequent relapses and hospitalizations represent a great challenge, both clinically and financially. Risperidone long-acting injection (RIS-LAI) has been the main LAI atypical antipsychotic treatment in Greece. Paliperidone palmitate (PP-LAI) has recently been approved. It is dosed monthly, as opposed to biweekly for RIS-LAI, but such advantages have not yet been analysed in terms of economic evaluation.Purpose: To compare costs and outcomes of PP-LAI versus RIS-LAI in Greece.Methods: A cost-utility analysis was performed using a previously validated decision tree to model clinical pathways and costs over 1 year for stable patients started on either medication. Rates were taken from the literature. A local expert panel provided feedback on treatment patterns. All direct costs incurred by the national healthcare system were obtained from the literature and standard price lists; all were inflated to 2011 costs. Patient outcomes analyzed included average days with stable disease, numbers of hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).Results: The total annual healthcare cost with PP-LAI was €3529; patients experienced 325 days in remission and 0.840 QALY; 28% were hospitalized and 15% received emergency room treatment. With RIS-LAI, the cost was €3695, patients experienced 318.6 days in remission and 0.815 QALY; 33% were hospitalized and 17% received emergency room treatment. Thus, PP-LAI dominated RIS-LAI. Results were generally robust in sensitivity analyses with PP-LAI dominating in 74.6% of simulations. Results were sensitive to the price of PP-LAI.Conclusions: PP-LAI appears to be a cost-effective option for treating chronic schizophrenia in Greece compared with RIS-LAI since it results in savings to the health care system along with better patient outcomes. © 2012 Einarson et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Einarson, T. R., Geitona, M., Chaidemenos, A., Karpouza, V., Mougiakos, T., Paterakis, P., … Hemels, M. E. H. (2012). Pharmacoeconomic analysis of paliperidone palmitate for treating schizophrenia in Greece. Annals of General Psychiatry, 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/1744-859X-11-18