Risperdal(R) Consta(R) significantly reduces the need for institutional psychiatric care


10 February 2004 – Davos – People with schizophrenia treated with RISPERDAL® CONSTA® [risperidone long-acting injection] are significantly less likely to be admitted to hospital than before they were treated with this new therapy, according to a Swedish study presented today at the Twelfth Biennial Winter Workshop on Schizophrenia in Davos, Switzerland. Furthermore, patients who were hospitalised during their treatment with Risperdal Consta had significantly shorter hospital stays than before treatment with the new therapy. The reduction in both the number and duration of hospitalisations associated with the use of Risperdal Consta resulted in substantial cost savings for the Swedish healthcare system.

"It is important not to underestimate the negative impact that each hospital admission exerts on the lives of patients affected with schizophrenia. Hospitalisation means not only that patients are experiencing an exacerbation of their symptoms but also, that as a consequence, their independence, social integration and financial status will be affected," said Lars Eriksson, M.D., Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Hisings-Backa, Sweden. "These results are extremely promising, showing that patients on long-term treatment with risperidone long acting injection present a reduced risk of hospitalisation, and less interference with their ability to live a fuller life."

Schizophrenia takes up more hospital beds than any other mental illness. In Europe, an estimated 4,292,000 people are diagnosed with schizophrenia, with a direct cost in the EU of €10 to €52 billion2. In the UK alone, estimates suggest that the total cost of schizophrenia is £23,000 per patient per year, adding up to a total annual sum – including lost productivity – of £2.7 billion. Of this, medicines account for less than five per cent.

In the study, 92 Swedish patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were treated with risperidone long acting injection for an average period of 43 months (range 25-58 months). During this period, the number of hospital admissions was reduced by 23 per cent, from 136 to 104 (p=0.014) compared to a same period of time before they were treated with this new therapy. In addition, the mean duration of a hospital stay for patients treated with risperidone long acting injection was reduced by 35 per cent, from 85.4 days to 55.4 days (p=0.008) **. On a per patient per-year basis, the mean number and duration of hospitalisation stays were reduced by 38 percent (p = 0.004) and 65 per cent (p<0.0001), respectively.

The study showed a mean annual cost saving to the Swedish health care system of approximately €3,500 to €6,300 per patient can be achieved following treatment with risperidone long acting injection (dependant on prescribed dose of either 50mg or 25 mg).

Risperdal Consta is the first newer-generation, "atypical" antipsychotic available as a long-acting injection. It combines the increased efficacy and fewer side effects of an atypical antipsychotic with the benefits of a long-acting formulation. Risperdal Consta only needs to be given every two weeks, so patients do not have to worry about remembering to take their medication every day.

Risperdal Consta is marketed in most parts of the world by Janssen-Cilag, and has been approved to date in more than 50 countries for the treatment of schizophrenia. The drug was developed by Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development using a novel technology originated by U.S.-based Alkermes, Inc., in which risperidone is embedded in tiny spheres of biodegradable polymer ("microspheres") that gradually degrade at a controlled rate following intramuscular injection.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.