Newly diagnosed schizophrenia patients continue to use oral Abilify as first-line therapy

BioTrends Research Group, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that analysis of U.S. longitudinal patient-level claims data reveals the use of Bristol-Myers Squibb's oral Abilify as a first-line therapy for newly diagnosed schizophrenia patients continues to grow. With this increase, Abilify has the second-highest first-line patient share of newly diagnosed patients among atypical antipsychotics. According to Treatment Algorithms in Schizophrenia, oral risperidone (Janssen's Risperdal, generics) continues to capture the greatest share of newly diagnosed schizophrenia patients among atypical antipsychotics, due to its availability as a generic. Atypical antipsychotics are the cornerstone treatment for schizophrenia and earn the largest percentage of patient share compared with other drug classes in the treatment of newly diagnosed patients.    

"Abilify has a more favorable tolerability profile, with a lower risk of metabolic side effects compared with other atypicals such as Eli Lilly's Zyprexa, and has shown efficacy in reducing the symptoms of depression; both factors may be reasons why physicians are turning to Abilify earlier in the treatment algorithm," said Director Nicole Westphal, Ph.D.

BioTrends' analysis also explores treatment patterns for recently treated schizophrenia patients, which captures patients treated in the third quarter of 2011 and reviews therapies in their treatment history. Among recently treated patients who switch to Abilify, 17.5 percent of patients progress from risperidone. Because of Abilify's favorable side-effect profile, patients switching to Abilify may have exhibited tolerability issues with risperidone, particularly weight gain, hyperlipidemia and metabolic side effects.


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