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Restrictive Prescription Drug Policies Hurt Schizophrenics
Date:4/1/2008

ithout 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


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