Back to Journals » Patient Preference and Adherence » Volume 4

Antipsychotic adherence, switching, and health care service utilization among Medicaid recipients with schizophrenia

Authors Noordsy D, Phillips GA, Ball DE, Linde-Zwirble WT

Published 20 July 2010 Volume 2010:4 Pages 263—271


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Douglas L Noordsy1, Glenn A Phillips2, Daniel E Ball2, Walter T Linde-Zwirble3
1Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH, USA; 2Global Health Outcomes, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, USA; 3ZD Associates, Perkasie, PA, USA

Objective: To evaluate health care resource utilization in patients with schizophrenia who continued newly prescribed antipsychotic medications, compared with those switching to ­different treatments.

Methods: Adults with schizophrenia in the California Medicaid (MediCal) database who ­initiated treatment with index medications in 1998–2001, were classified as having: 1) ­abandoned antipsychotic medications; 2) switched to another medication; or 3) continued with the index antipsychotic, for up to 6 months after the index date.

Results: Of 2300 patients meeting eligibility criteria, 1382 (60.1%) continued index medications, 480 (20.9%) switched, and 438 (19.0%) abandoned antipsychotic treatment. Utilization in several resource categories occurred significantly more frequently among patients whose regimens were switched (vs those continuing index medications). These included using psychiatric (24.2% vs 14.5%; P < 0.001) or nonpsychiatric (31.5% vs 24.3%; P < 0.05) emergency services; being admitted to a hospital (10.6% vs 7.4%; P < 0.05); making nonpsychiatric outpatient hospital visits (43.3% vs 36.4%; P < 0.05) or nonpsychiatric physician visits (62.7% vs 56.4%; P < 0.05); and using other outpatient psychiatric (53.3% vs 40.7%; P < 0.001) or nonpsychiatric (82.7% vs 74.6%; P < 0.001) services.

Conclusions: Switching antipsychotic medications is associated with significantly increased health care resource utilization (vs continuing treatment).

Keywords: antipsychotics, drug therapy, resource use, treatment adherence

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]