Authors: Baser O, Xie L, Pesa J, Durkin M.

Objective: This study aimed to compare real world healthcare costs and resource utilization between patients with schizophrenia treated with paliperidone palmitate long-acting injection (PP) and oral atypical antipsychotics (OATs).

Methods: Patients (18-64 years) were selected from the Veterans Health Administration dataset (1 July 2007-31 May 2012). Patients with 2+ claims for PP or 2+ claims for the same OAT comprised the two study cohorts with the first prescription date designated as the index date. Participation in the VA healthcare system for 24 months pre- and 12 months post-index, schizophrenia diagnosis (International Classification of Disease 9th Revision Clinical Modification [ICD-9-CM] code 295.1x-6x, 295.8x-9x) and ≥1 claim for an antipsychotic medication during the baseline period were required. Propensity scores and Mahalanobis metric distances with calipers were used to create two matched cohorts. All-cause healthcare utilization and costs for the 12-month follow-up period were compared between matched cohorts.

Results: The matching process produced two cohorts of 335 patients with similar baseline characteristics. During the 12-month follow-up period, patients in the PP cohort had lower mean inpatient costs (18,560 vs $31,505, p = 0.002), lower frequency of hospitalization (34% vs 53%, p < 0.001) and fewer average inpatient days (13.24 vs 24.18, p = 0.002) vs matched OAT patients. While mean pharmacy costs were higher for the PP cohort ($10,063 vs $4167, p < 0.001), mean total healthcare costs were not significantly different ($45,529 vs $52,569, p = 0.128).

Conclusion: VA patients, diagnosed with schizophrenia and treated with PP, had lower inpatient costs and admission rates compared to a matched cohort of OAT patients. Total healthcare costs were not significantly different.

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