Up to 50% of patients with schizophrenia are non-adherent with antipsychotic medication.”von Bormann, et al., Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2014; preprint

In the United States, about 3.5 million people have schizophrenia, according to the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America. Of those 3.5 million, half have not received treatment. Of the people with schizophrenia who do receive treatment, antipsychotic medication compliance is low. Long-acting injectables may be a possible solution for low compliance in patients with schizophrenia.

Medication compliance is low for patients with schizophrenia. The compliance rate is about 50%. In a four-month study with 105 patients, researchers found that the main reasons for noncompliance in order of most compelling to least compelling were illness denial, financial obstacles, unnecessary medication, treatment access problems, side effects and substance abuse. A benefit of long-acting injectables is they may raise antipsychotic medication compliance rates.

Antipsychotic medication can be administered in the form of long-acting injectables. These injectables may raise antipsychotic medication compliance. A benefit to long-acting injectables is the small variation in the peak and trough levels, which reduces side effects. The reduction in side effects improves compliance and prevents relapse that can be caused by poor compliance, according to a review of seven studies of long-acting injectables in people with schizophrenia. An added benefit of long-acting injectables is improved quality of life. Patients can lead more stable lives with their loved ones outside of a hospital. In fact, sixteen studies have shown that long-acting injectables are more likely than oral drugs to prevent hospitalization. This improvement in quality of life can also lead to improved compliance.

Antipsychotic medication compliance is low for patients with schizophrenia. Long-acting injectables may be a possible solution because they have a favorable adverse event profile and can improve quality of life. StratµmTM technology is used in long-acting injectables, and the precise drug release further reduces the peak-to-trough drug release variability. The Stratµm platform is currently being used to develop several long-acting drugs, and we envision this technology to be a good fit with the next generation of schizophrenia medication. Improved long-acting injectables and better awareness of their efficacy could lead to a higher treatment rate for people with schizophrenia and help those 1.75 million people in the United States who do not receive treatment.