Changes in adherence and treatment costs following initiation of oral or depot typical antipsychotics among previously non-adherent patients with schizophrenia

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This study assessed the impact of depot formulations on adherence and treating costs in the naturalistic treatment of previously non-adherent outpatients with schizophrenia.


Data were taken from the European Schizophrenia Outpatient Health Outcomes (SOHO) study. Medication adherence and treating costs during an 18-month follow-up were assessed and compared for non-adherent patients initiated on depot typical (n = 262) or oral typical antipsychotics (n = 169) as monotherapy at the index visit. Multivariate analyses were employed to adjust for differences between the two groups at the index visit.


Of the previously non-adherent patients, more than half of patients initiated on depot typicals (55%) remained adherent to medication during follow-up, whereas the equivalent was 39% for patients initiated on oral typicals. Logistic regression also showed higher odds of being adherent among the former group (Odds ratio = 1.84; 95% CI = 1.19–2.85). In addition, total costs incurred by this group during 18 months were only half those incurred by patients initiated on oral typicals (£3645 vs £7817, p < 0.05)


Depot formulations of typical antipsychotics appeared to improve medication adherence and reduce treatment costs, compared with oral formulations, in the treatment of non-adherent patients. Limitation: adherence was assessed by the treating psychiatrist using a single-item. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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