Navigation Links
Restrictive Prescription Drug Policies Hurt Schizophrenics

Harvard study found program made patients 29% more likely to stop, disrupt their meds

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Restrictive prescription drug policies can cause schizophrenia patients to stop taking their medications, a Harvard Medical School study suggests.

Researchers looked at Medicare beneficiaries with schizophrenia in Maine before, during and after a policy that required patients to use an authorized medication (step treatment) before they were permitted to be prescribed drugs not on the preferred list. They were compared to Medicare beneficiaries with schizophrenia in New Hampshire, where there was no such regulation.

The study found that the Maine patients were 29 percent more likely to stop or disrupt medication when subject to the tightened policy. In addition, the restrictive drug policy -- originally designed to reduce costs -- provided only minimal savings.

After less than one year, the Maine policy was replaced by a provider education program, noted the authors of the study, which was published online April 1 in the journal Health Affairs.

"This study calls into question the effectiveness of many similar policies throughout the country," study senior author Stephen Soumerai, a professor at Harvard Medical School, said in a prepared statement. "Getting prior authorization requires paperwork and is time-consuming, so physicians may tend to switch to prescribing preferred medications even if they have concerns about the appropriateness of the medication for a specific patient."

As their medication choices are restricted, more patients discontinue treatment, Soumerai noted.

Previous research has found that interruptions in taking antipsychotic medications are likely to lead to recurrence of psychotic episodes and higher hospitalization rates and costs for patients.

Schizophrenia affects 1 percent of the U.S. population, or about 3 million people. Without antipsychotic medication, about 80 percent of patients will suffer a serious recurrence of their illness within a year, according to background information in the study.

While prior authorization and step treatment policies may be appropriate for some types of medications, such policies put patients with chronic mental illness at particular risk, the study authors said.

"Given the tremendous variation in individual responses to drugs as well as the devastating impact of treatment disruptions on schizophrenic patients, a policy that pushes all patients toward a limited number of preferred drugs may do more harm than good," Soumerai said. "It would be much better to focus on ensuring that antipsychotic drugs are prescribed for evidence-based reasons and that preferred drugs are prescribed only to patients who can benefit from them."

More information

Mental Health America has more about schizophrenia.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Harvard Medical School, news release, April 1, 2008

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Medco Partners to Develop Patient-Safety System for Prescription Drugs in Sweden
2. CVS/pharmacy and the National Council on Aging Extend Prescription for Better Health Partnership
3. Employers: Proven PBM Tools Slowing Cost of Prescription Drug Benefits
4. Long Islanders Take Unhealthy Measures to Afford Their Prescriptions
5. CVS Caremark Corp. to Pay $36.7 Million to U.S., 23 States, & D.C. to Settle Medicaid Prescription Drug Fraud Allegations
6. Wal-Mart Saves Customers More Than $1 Billion On Prescription Drugs
7. Prescription costs rise more than 6 times when patients reach 65 says study of 5M people
8. Boston Medical Center Meets Prescription Challenges With Kryptiq ePrescribing Solution
9. VIDEO from Medialink and General Motors: Electronic Prescriptions Save Lives and Money
10. Non-Medical Use of Prescriptions Linked to Drug Abuse Risk
11. Prescription for Change: New Survey Shows ePrescribing Connecting with its Biggest Skeptics ... Physicians
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Restrictive Prescription Drug Policies Hurt Schizophrenics
(Date:10/13/2017)... Pekin, IL (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 ... ... Foundation, which established the certification process to promote standards of excellence for the ... iaedp™ Symposium, scheduled for March 22 – 25, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, PharmD ’17, along with clinical associate professor Janice ... of cardiovascular diseases during the 15th Annual Women’s Health Conference. The SIU ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Shelton, CT (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... and long-term care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of ... Department, Shelton Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) ... a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed ... and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun ... NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is ... is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... The Rebound mobile app is poised to become a vital ... prescription drug addiction. The app empowers users to develop an ... their dosage in a safe, controlled manner while maximizing well-being. ... 100,000 people to sign up will enjoy 3 months of ... ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early Signal ... wearable and home sensors for real-time monitoring of patients ... a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions for ... analytical system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, physiological ... ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... Israel and NEW YORK , Sept. 27, ... with mobile health and big data solutions, today announced that its MyDario ... Please check your local TV listings for when The Dr. Oz Show ... ... season this month. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: