The Real-World Effect of Long-Acting Injectable Antipsychotics on Annual Medical Costs of Korean Schizophrenia Patients
SuHyuk Chi 1, Jeong Kyung Ko 1, Hyun-Ghang Jeong 1, Changsu Han 1, Moon-Soo Lee 1*
Korea University Guro Hospital
Received: May 7, 2024; Revised: July 2, 2024; Accepted: July 8, 2024; Published online: July 8, 2024.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Objective: Schizophrenia is a severe and chronic mental disorder that significantly impacts cognitive, social, and occupational functions, leading to substantial economic burdens. Long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics have been introduced to improve treatment adherence and outcomes, yet their economic impact remains debated. We aim to analyze the impact of LAIs on the medical costs of Korean schizophrenia patients.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of 164 schizophrenia patients treated with LAI antipsychotics, paliperidone palmitate (PAL), and aripiprazole monohydrate (ARP) at Korea University Guro Hospital between January 2017 and July 2022 was performed. Comparisons of inpatient department (IPD) and outpatient department (OPD) healthcare expenditures one year before and after LAI initiation were conducted.
Results: LAIs led to an increase in annual OPD costs (1437.44 ± 1127.60 to 4015.42 ± 1204.59; units: 1,000 KRW) but significantly reduced IPD admission associated costs (3826.06 ± 5500.63 to 698.06 ± 3619.38; units: 1,000 KRW). After LAI administration, there was an overall reduction in total annual healthcare costs (5263.49 ± 5333.11 to 4713.48 ± 3625.89; units: 1,000 KRW), but it was not statistically significant.
Conclusions: Although the use of LAIs did not significantly lower the first-year medical costs of schizophrenia patients, they offer beneficial economic impacts over time by reducing hospitalization-associated costs. Future research should focus on long-term cost analyses and the impacts of newer LAI formulations.
Keywords: antipsychotics, schizophrenia, healthcare costs