NYMC Faculty Publications


Relapse Prevention: a Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Brexpiprazole Treatment in Adult Patients with Schizophrenia in the USA

Document Type


Publication Date

August 2018


Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Objective: This study used a decision-analytic framework to assess the cost-effectiveness of brexpiprazole vs comparator branded therapies for reducing relapses and hospitalizations among adults with schizophrenia from a US payer perspective. Methods: An economic model was developed to assess patients with stable schizophrenia initiating treatment with brexpiprazole (1-4 mg), cariprazine (1-6 mg), or lurasidone (40-80 mg) over a 1-year period. After 6 months, patients remained on treatment or discontinued due to relapse, adverse events, or other reasons. Patients who discontinued due to relapse or adverse events were assumed to have switched to other therapy, and those who discontinued due to other reasons were assumed to have received no therapy. Primary outcomes were incremental cost per relapse avoided and hospitalization avoided, and the secondary outcome was cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained. Sensitivity and scenario analyses were also conducted. Results: Brexpiprazole was associated with the highest per-patient clinical effectiveness (avoided relapses 0.637, avoided hospitalizations 0.719, QALYs 0.707) among comparators, followed by cariprazine (avoided relapses 0.590, avoided hospitalizations 0.683, QALYs 0.683) and lurasidone (avoided relapses 0.400, avoided hospitalizations 0.536, QALYs 0.623). Annual per-patient health-care costs were lowest for brexpiprazole ($20,510), followed by cariprazine ($22,282) and lurasidone ($25,510). Brexpiprazole was the least costly and most effective treatment strategy for all outcomes. Results were sensitive to relapse rates and daily cost of brexpiprazole. Limitations include data principally obtained from drug-specific randomized withdrawal studies and lack of direct-comparison trials. Conclusion: This analysis evaluated brexpiprazole treatment for the reduction of schizophrenia relapses and hospitalizations over a 1-year period compared to other recently available branded antipsychotics, and excluded generic antipsychotic treatments. Brexpiprazole treatment may lead to clinical benefits and medical cost savings, and provides a cost-effective treatment option for patients relatively to other branded second-generation antipsychotics.