Pharma Marketing News
News & Views for
Responsible Marketers

Messages from Our Sponsors

Pharma Glossary

Pharmaguy's Picks

Pharma Marketing Network Curated Content Forums
The Leading Online Source of Curated Content for Pharmaceutical Marketing Experts
Newsletter | Conferences | Podcasts | Glossary | Surveys | Blog | Advertising Information | Contact Us

"Must Read Blog for Insiders." -- Wall Street Journal
Pharma Marketing News
Current Issue of Pharma Marketing News Available!

Search the Entire Pharma Marketing Forums Site

Go Back   Pharma Marketing Network Curated Content > News & Views > Industry News

Industry News Pharmaceutical industry news from newsfeeds, press releases, news stories, etc.

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13th July 2009, 03:09 PM
Pharma Newshound Pharma Newshound is offline
News Gatherer
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 11,014
Default Schizophrenia Drug Limits May Have Led to Deaths


By Carey Sargent

Restrictions on the use of the antipsychotic medicine clozapine may have led to thousands of additional deaths in schizophrenia patients around the world, a study published in The Lancet medical journal found.

Researchers examined data from patients taking the six most frequently used antipsychotic drugs and found that clozapine was associated with the lowest death rate compared with use of the older medicine perphenazine. Clozapine was linked to a 26 percent reduction in mortality according to the study, led by Jari Tiihonen at the University of Kuopio in Finland.

Doctors can prescribe clozapine, first developed by Switzerland’s Novartis AG, only after two unsuccessful trials with other antipsychotics because it has been linked with agranulocytosis, a condition causing a severe decrease in white blood cells and problems such as fevers, fatigue and bleeding sores, Tiihonen said. Patients taking clozapine need weekly blood monitoring for six months followed by monthly testing to look for signs of the disorder, he said.

“Our results raise the issue of whether clozapine should be used as a first-line treatment, because it seems to be the safest antipsychotic in terms of mortality and it is also the most effective,” Tiihonen and colleagues wrote in the study. “However, clozapine is inexpensive, and hence it’s unprofitable for the pharmaceutical industry to market compared with other second-generation antipsychotic drugs.”

First Approved

Clozapine was the first approved drug in the class known as atypical antipsychotic medications, which also includes AstraZeneca Plc’s Seroquel, Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal and Eli Lilly & Co.’s Zyprexa.

In the study, Seroquel was associated with a 41 percent increase in mortality compared with patients taking the older medicine, while Risperdal was associated with a 34 percent increase. The older, generic medicine haloperidol was linked to a 37 percent increase in mortality.

The difference in mortality between clozapine and the other antipsychotic drugs may be attributable to more intensive monitoring during treatment, greater effectiveness, lower safety of other drugs, or all of these factors, the researchers said.

The use of antipsychotics in general is associated with a 20 percent reduction in mortality, the study found. The Ministry of Health and Welfare in Finland funded the research.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carey Sargent in Washington at
Pharma Newshound
"I sift through the news so you don't have to!"

Please take the PMN Forums Visitor Survey and help us provide a better experience. It will only take 1 minute of your time.

Got news? Tell me about it:
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:34 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
(c) 2014, Pharma Marketing Network. All rights reserved.