Objective: The development of long-acting atypical antipsychotics has provided a new paradigm for schizophrenia treatment. The economic effectiveness of risperidone long-acting injection (RLAI) on service costs has, however, never been studied in the real world with national claim-based database. Method: To assess the change of service utilization and costs for schizophrenia before and after RLAI treatment, we conducted this 1-year mirror-image study with Taiwanese national claimed-data. Comparison was made for service sectors (the number of visits, acute admissions and relapse events) and cost components (outpatient, inpatient, emergency, medication and non-medication costs). Results: Service uses reduced in the post-RLAI period, along with a reduction of 34% and 32% on total inpatient services costs and inpatient non-medication costs, respectively (p <0.005). However, overall psychiatric service costs went up by 26%, with an increase of 190% on total outpatient service costs and 177% on overall medication costs (p <0.0001). Conclusions: This 1-year mirror-image analysis showed that RLAI treatment was associated with reductions of service uses; however, overall psychiatric service costs were compromised by costs incurred from increased utilization of outpatient service and RLAI medication costs under the context of healthcare in Taiwan.
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