Clozapine in the Treatment of Schizophrenia
M. Mark, R. Magnezi, O. Luxenburg, M. Siebzehner, J. Shemer
Israel Center for Technology Assessment in Health Care, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
Schizophrenia is associated with brain abnormalities and is typically evidenced by disorganized speech and behavior, delusions, and hallucinations; it usually requires extended hospitalization. Its incidence in the western world is estimated at 4-7 cases/10,000/year.
A method of shortening hospitalization and improving level of functioning is the use of unique medication, including clozapine, which has been in use in Israel for the past 6 years.
We report 327 patients who participated in a community rehabilitation program and were treated with clozapine. They were compared with 417 patients who corresponded to the guidelines of the Director of Mental Health Services for treatment with clozapine, but were not treated with it for reasons not defined in the guidelines.
The study included those 25-44 and 45-64 years of age and according to the division of the population of patients hospitalized in both government and private hospitals. The project demonstrates the savings from use of clozapine as opposed to the alternative of hospitalizing these patients. It also shows the complexity and difficulty in assimilating new technologies, in relation to the influence of social considerations and supplier/insurer accounting on the patterns of technological assimilation.