Healthcare Industry News: schizophrenia
News Release - December 1, 2006
AstraZeneca's Statement on the Cost-Effectiveness Findings of the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness-Schizophrenia (CATIE-SZ)WILMINGTON, Del., Dec. 1 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN ) responds to the cost-effectiveness findings of the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness-schizophrenia (CATIE-SZ) that were published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The CATIE Cost-Effectiveness publication is a secondary analysis from the CATIE-SZ study, a single, complex, multi-phase trial that adds to the body of evidence evaluating costs and effectiveness of antipsychotic medications in treating schizophrenia.
For people with schizophrenia, the road to finding the right treatment can be a difficult one, due to the complex nature of the disease and individual patient needs. Patients and their physicians work together, often trying several different medications at different doses before finding an optimal choice.
A one-size-fits-all approach to treating people with schizophrenia is not feasible, because patients are unique and may respond differently to various medications. Because no one medicine has been shown to work for all people with schizophrenia, patients and their doctors need multiple treatment options. It is vital that access to a full range of medications is preserved and physicians' clinical judgment about which medications to use and whether to change medication is respected.
AstraZeneca agrees with the study authors' assessment that these results should not be used to "justify policies that would unconditionally restrict access to any particular medication or that would thoughtlessly force patients or doctors who are satisfied with a current treatment to change to a treatment just because it might be less expensive."
Furthermore, AstraZeneca agrees with the study authors' statement, "treatment decisions must be based on the clinical situation of each individual patient." The cost savings with the first generation antipsychotic used in the study needs to be evaluated against the potential long-term risks and associated costs for both first and second generation antipsychotics. This long-term comparison could not be fully addressed in the CATIE-SZ study.
schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder with symptoms including distorted perceptions of reality, hallucinations and delusions, confused thinking, and flat or blunted emotions.(1,2) The first signs of schizophrenia typically emerge in the teenage years or early twenties.(2) Almost 2.2 million American adults -- 1.1 percent of the population age 18 and older -- suffer from schizophrenia.(2) Medications are important in the management of symptoms.(3) While there is no cure for schizophrenia, it is a highly treatable and manageable illness.(2) Medications are classified into two categories -- "conventional" and "atypical" antipsychotics.(2)
AstraZeneca is a major international health care business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $23.95 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection products. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $10.77 billion healthcare business with more than 12,000 employees. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index.
For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit: http://www.astrazeneca-us.com
This press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to AstraZeneca's business. By their nature, forward-looking statements and forecasts involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially. For a discussion of those risks and uncertainties, please see the company's Annual Report/Form 20-F for 2005.
(1) American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-IV-TR). Fourth Edition. Arlington, VA, 2000. 299.
(2) National Alliance for the Mentally Ill: About Mental Illness/schizophrenia fact sheet. Reviewed by Daniel Weinberger, M.D.: October 2003.
(3) Miller, Rachel and Susan E. Mason. Diagnosis schizophrenia: A Comprehensive Resource. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.
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