OBJECTIVES: The introduction of generic second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs), starting with risperidone in July 2008, could reduce antipsychotic spending and cost-related use barriers. This study examines associations between generic risperidone use and spending and adherence after introduction among Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries., STUDY DESIGN: Historic cohort study., METHODS: The study included MA beneficiaries receiving SGA treatment prior to July 2008. We examined antipsychotic spending using linear models, adherence (proportion of days covered > 80%) using logistic models, and nonpersistence (time to first gap in antipsychotic use > 30 days) in 2009 using Cox proportional hazard models, comparing beneficiaries with versus without generic use, adjusting for individual and plan characteristics., RESULTS: Between July 2008 and December 2009, 22.8% of beneficiaries had > 1 fill of generic risperidone: 73% of those previously using branded risperidone and 6.7% of those previously using other SGAs. Beneficiaries in private fee-for-service (FFS) versus health maintenance organization (HMO) plans had lower rates of generic use (hazard ratio [HR], 0.73 [95% CI, 0.56-0.96]); however, cost-sharing levels were not associated with generic use. Compared with beneficiaries who continued using other SGAs, those who switched from other SGAs to generic risperidone in 2008 had lower out-of-pocket spending (-$214; 95% CI, -$314 to -$115), higher adherence (odds ratio, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.62-3.40) and lower rates of nonpersistence (HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.46-0.69) in 2009., CONCLUSIONS: Generic use was concentrated among patients previously using branded risperidone. HMO plans appeared to be more effective at encouraging generic use than unmanaged private FFS plans; however, patient financial incentives had limited influence on switching. Additional opportunity remains to encourage greater generic SGA use, reduce spending, and potentially improve treatment adherence and outcomes.
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