The American Journal of Psychiatry has published new research that supports the argument that the $10 billion a year spent on a new wave of schizophrenia drugs is largely being wasted. Zyprexa, Seroquel and Risperdal--which have captured the market in the field--work no better than an older and much cheaper generic drug. Using the generic perphenazine, for example, would be $300 to $600 a month cheaper per patient than the prescription drugs. The authors of the study, though, aren't calling for patients to be switched over immediately. Many of these drugs are prescribed in a hit-or-miss approach and patients who are benefiting from their therapies should stay on them. In many cases, the effectiveness of one of these therapies wears off after a relatively short time, marking a good point at which the generic could be prescribed.
- read the report on the study from The Washington Post
Ed. Note: Corrected the figure. Thanks for the comment!