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Janssen today announced the launch of XEPLION® (paliperidone palmitate), a new once-monthly, long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotic available in the UK. Paliperidone palmitate provides sustained and consistent symptom control and a reduced risk of relapse compared to placebo. It also offers clear practical features for people with schizophrenia, including the option of being delivered in the arm and simple, convenient administration.
People with schizophrenia who do not take their antipsychotic medication as prescribed (non-adherent) are up to five times more likely to relapse (experience a recurrence of symptoms) than those who adhere to treatment. Furthermore, research suggests that approximately two thirds of people with schizophrenia are partially or fully non-adherent to antipsychotic therapy. Paliperidone palmitate has been shown to significantly lower relapse rates versus placebo and with about half the number of injections compared to risperdone long-acting injectable (the most commonly prescribed atypical LAI) provides a new option to help people stay on treatment and reduce the risk of relapse.
“Relapse can be devastating for those affected, as well as their friends and family and more needs to be done to improve adherence to medication and ensure positive long-term outcomes,” comments Dr Richard Hodgson, Senior Clinical Lecturer at Keele University and Consultant Psychiatrist at North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust. “Long-acting injectable antipsychotics can help to make it easier for people with schizophrenia to adhere to treatment and could be useful for those who do not remember to take a pill every day.”
A study published last month in The Psychiatrist shows that relapse in schizophrenia carries a heavy burden, with the average in-patient cost of relapse amounting to almost £26,000 per person a year. The six month direct cost of healthcare services for individuals who experience relapse is also four times higher than for those who do not.
Marjorie Wallace, founder and Chief Executive of SANE, comments: “Preventing relapse in schizophrenia remains a key issue. Providing choice to patients in the care and treatment they receive is important in helping them manage their condition, yet despite being central to government health policy, for many it is still an unmet need. We welcome the greater choice offered by this new treatment. We also hope that with the cuts and reductions in mental health services, it will not mean that people see less of their clinical teams.”