Authors: Charmi Patel, Antoine El Khoury, Ahong Huang, Li Wang, Onur Baser, Kruti Joshi

Introduction: There is limited literature on treatment patterns, healthcare resource utilization (HRU), and costs among patients who transition from once-monthly paliperidone palmitate (PP1M) to once-every-3-month paliperidone palmitate (PP3M) in a real-world setting. Hence, this study compared treatment patterns, HRU, and costs 12-month pre- and post-PP3M transition among Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA) patients with schizophrenia.

Methods: Patients with schizophrenia (aged ≥ 18 years) who initiated PP1M and transitioned per on-label criteria to PP3M (no treatment gap of > 45 days in PP1M during the 4 months prior, same dose strength of the last two PP1M claims, and appropriate dose conversion from last PP1M to first PP3M claim) from January 2015 to March 2017 were included from the VHA database. The first transition date to PP3M was identified as the index date. Patients were required to have 12-month pre- and post-PP3M continuous health plan eligibility. Outcomes were compared using the Wilcoxon-signed rank and McNemar’s test, appropriately.

Results: The study included 122 patients [mean (SD) age: 54 (13.7) years]. Pre- and post-PP3M transition, 64.8% and 61.5% of patients were adherent (proportion of days covered ≥ 80%) to PP1M and PP3M, respectively. Comparison of HRU outcomes pre- and post-PP3M transition exhibited lower all-cause outpatient (37.5 vs 31.1, p < 0.0001) and pharmacy visits (56.1 vs 46.7, p < 0.0001). Similar trends were seen for mental health and schizophrenia-related outpatient and pharmacy HRU. Comparison of cost outcomes resulted in lower all-cause outpatient ($27,221 vs $22,356, p = 0.0033), higher pharmacy ($16,349 vs $17,003, p = 0.0076), lower total medical ($35,834 vs $28,900, p = 0.0257), and no difference in total costs ($52,183 vs $45,903, p = 0.3118). Similar trends were seen for mental health and schizophrenia-related costs.

Conclusions: Transition to PP3M was associated with a decline in outpatient and pharmacy visits. All-cause medical cost reduction fully offset increased pharmacy costs among VHA patients with schizophrenia who transitioned from PP1M to PP3M.

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