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Study: 45% Schizophrenia Patients Not Complying With Prescribing Instructions

New GfK Study Finds 45% of Schizophrenia Patients Do Not Comply with Doctors’ Prescribing Instructions

“Depot” drugs still leave key needs unmet

NEW YORK, October 14, 2013--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Almost half of schizophrenia patients do not follow their doctors’ instructions when taking their medications, according to new GfK research among psychiatrists. The figure of 45% represents an increase of four percentage points over 2012; the most common reasons for non-compliance, according to prescribing physicians, include dislike of medication, concern about side effects, and denial of illness.

Now in its 17th year, the GfK study also provides a detailed look at usage of and satisfaction with common schizophrenia medications – such as Abilify, risperidone, Latuda, and Invega – as well as circumstances of treatment and other key factors in managing this complex condition.

Since 2009, the level of overall non-compliance among schizophrenia patients has ranged from 41% to 46%, according to GfK’s annual study. This year, three-quarters (74%) of psychiatrists mentioned patient dislike of medications as a reason for non-compliance, while 71% cited side effects – the most common being EPS/tremors, sleepiness, and weight gain.

“Depot” drugs – which only need to be taken once a week or less – have been the most talked-about new developments in the schizophrenia category; but they have not substantially improved compliance. GfK found that depot drugs account for roughly 20% of all schizophrenia prescriptions – up just slightly from last year. But only 2% of doctors surveyed expect to “significantly increase” their use of depots to treat schizophrenia in the next six months.

The study also shows a variety of unmet needs among the current crop of schizophrenia treatments; psychiatrists would like to see better control of negative and cognitive symptoms, fewer metabolic side effects, and improvement in cognitive deficit.

“Drug manufacturers need to address the top unsatisfied requirements among psychiatrists, and even market to those benefits,” said Paul Wojciak, Research Director on GfK’s Health team. “As more doctors become familiar with the benefits of depot drugs, we may see a shift in how schizophrenia is treated in the coming years.”

Monthly schizophrenia patient volume has remained relatively stable since 2011, accounting for about 30% of psychiatrists’ overall practice. Schizophrenia patients are almost twice as likely to be seen in a community mental health center (46%) as at a private office (26%). Another 17% receive inpatient treatment at a hospital – either general or psychiatric.

GfK’s Therapeutic Class Dynamics Studies help clients navigate and anticipate competitive market dynamics by assessing physicians’ attitudes, perceptions and behaviors that drive therapeutic decision making. Study findings help drive strategic and tactical marketing plans and product development decisions.

About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 13,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to EUR 1.51 billion.

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For More Information:
David Stanton, 908-875-9844
Vice President, GfK Marketing and Communications
Consumer Experiences North America

Posted: October 2013