Over 10 million Chinese are affected by schizophrenia. The annual cost of schizophrenia in China was estimated at US$2586 per patient.
The study has two aims: (1) to conduct a targeted literature review of the economic literature on oral ziprasidone in China, and (2) to develop an inpatient economic model that compared the cost of intramuscular ziprasidone with other regimens including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for the management of acute agitation in patients with schizophrenia from a hospital’s perspective in China.
A targeted literature review was conducted using PubMed and the Chinese literature databases for studies published between January 2007 and December 2017. Studies that assessed costs associated with oral ziprasidone treatment for schizophrenia in China were summarised. In the inpatient economic model, cost measures included hospital room and board, antipsychotics, ECT and medications for the management of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS). Input for standard antipsychotic regimens and unit cost were obtained from the literature. Hospital length of stay (LOS), utilisation of ECT and incidence of EPS were derived from the literature and supplemented/validated with a survey of psychiatrists in China. Cost was presented in 2017 Chinese yuan.
The average estimated LOS was 29 days with ziprasidone, 33 days with risperidone+benzodiazepine, 32 days with olanzapine, 35 days with haloperidol and 29 days with ECT. The cost of antipsychotics was ¥1260 with ziprasidone, ¥137 with risperidone+benzodiazepine, ¥913 with olanzapine and ¥210 with haloperidol; ECT treatment cost ¥785. The base-case analysis suggested that higher antipsychotic cost with ziprasidone was offset by savings with shorter LOS. Using intramuscular ziprasidone for acute management was associated with a total cost of ¥11 157, the lowest among all antipsychotic regimens (¥11 424 with risperidone+benzodiazepine, ¥11 711 with olanzapine and ¥11 912 with haloperidol) and slightly higher than ECT (¥10 606). The cost of antipsychotics and ECT accounted for 1 %-11 % of the total cost. Varying LOS between the lower and upper bounds of the 95% CI, the total cost was comparable between these regimens.
Overall, the cost for the management of acute agitation was similar between intramuscular ziprasidone and other antipsychotics. Compared with other antipsychotics, the higher medication cost of intramuscular ziprasidone can be offset by savings with shorter hospital stay. The results from this economic analysis were complementary to the findings in the published literature assessing the economic outcomes of oral ziprasidone.