Use of Healthcare Services by Patients Treated with Risperidone Versus Conventional Antipsychotic Agents
Michael B. Durkin
Objective: To determine whether the use of risperidone in a US managed-care environment is associated with a reduction in the use of mental healthcare services. Methods: Mental health service use and costs for patients with psychoses treated with risperidone versus those treated with conventional antipsychotic agents were compared by both between-group and within-group comparisons. The study controlled for differences between the groups. Only direct medical costs were considered. All costs were for the years 1994 to 1996. Perspective: US managed care plan. Results: Costs (excluding antipsychotic drug costs) per member per month (PMPM) were $US180 lower with risperidone (p < 0.05); per member per year (PMPY) costs were $US2160 lower. In patients who received both risperidone and conventional treatments, PMPM costs were $US212 ($US2544 PMPY) lower during risperidone treatment. Total costs (including antipsychotic drug costs) were $US624 PMPY lower with risperidone by between-group comparisons and $US1008 PMPY lower by within-group comparisons. Conclusions: These results show that higher risperidone acquisition costs are offset by reductions in other mental healthcare costs, particularly inpatient hospitalisation costs. This indicates that risperidone may be a more economical choice than traditional antipsychotics for the treatment of psychoses.
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