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Treatment-completion rates with olanzapine long-acting injection versus risperidone long-acting injection in a 12-month, open-label treatment of schizophrenia: indirect, exploratory comparisons

Authors Ascher-Svanum H, Montgomery B, McDonnell, Coleman, Feldman PD

Received 10 December 2011

Accepted for publication 29 March 2012

Published 4 May 2012 Volume 2012:5 Pages 391—398


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Haya Ascher-Svanum1, William S Montgomery2, David P McDonnell3, Kristina A Coleman4, Peter D Feldman1
1Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, USA; 2Eli Lilly Australia Pty Ltd, West Ryde, New South Wales, Australia; 3Eli Lilly and Company, Cork, Ireland; 4OptumInsight, Lilyfield, New South Wales, Australia

Background: Little is known about the comparative effectiveness of atypical antipsychotics in long-acting injection formulation. Due to the absence of head-to-head studies comparing olanzapine long-acting injection and risperidone long-acting injection, this study was intended to make exploratory, indirect, cross-study comparisons between the long-acting formulations of these two atypical antipsychotics in their effectiveness in treating patients with schizophrenia.
Methods: Indirect, cross-study comparisons between olanzapine long-acting injection and risperidone long-acting injection used 12-month treatment-completion rates, because discontinuation of an antipsychotic for any cause is a recognized proxy measure of the medication's effectiveness in treating schizophrenia. Following a systematic review of the literature, two indirect comparisons were conducted using open-label, single-cohort studies in which subjects were stabilized on an antipsychotic medication before depot initiation. The first analysis compared olanzapine long-acting injection (one study) with pooled data from nine identified risperidone long-acting injection studies. The second analysis was a “sensitivity analysis,” using only the most similar studies, one for olanzapine long-acting injection and one for risperidone long-acting injection, which shared near-identical study designs and involved study cohorts with near-identical patient characteristics. Pearson Chi-square tests assessed group differences on treatment-completion rates.
Results: Comparison of olanzapine long-acting injection data (931 patients) with the pooled data from the nine risperidone long-acting injection studies (3950 patients) provided almost identical 12-month treatment-completion rates (72.7% versus 72.4%; P = 0.87). When the two most similar studies were compared, the 12-month completion rate for olanzapine long-acting injection was significantly higher than for risperidone long-acting injection (81.3% versus 47.0%; P < 0.001). However, any conclusions drawn from this comparison may be limited by differences in the studies' geographic catchment areas.
Conclusion: Using treatment-completion rates as a proxy measure of medication effectiveness, olanzapine long-acting injection did not differ significantly from risperidone long-acting injection when including all eligible studies. However, the findings of this exploratory analysis should be interpreted with caution, considering the methodological limitations of these indirect, cross-study comparisons.

Keywords: antipsychotic drugs, intramuscular injection, olanzapine, risperidone, schizophrenia

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