SchizophreniaThe Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has recommended the use of paliperidone palmitate 3-monthly injection (Trevicta) for use in NHS Scotland without restriction for the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia.

The drug is for the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in adult patients who are clinically stable on one-monthly paliperidone palmitate injectable product. This new formulation of paliperidone palmitate is administered every three months and is available at pro-rata cost to the monthly formulation.

The positive recommendation of paliperidone palmitate 3-monthly injection by the SMC is an important step forward for people living with schizophrenia in Scotland, who will now have routine access to an extended duration treatment which has the potential to reduce the likelihood of relapse. 

This treatment may provide helpful support to patients by reducing injection frequency, which may free up time for other interventions to optimise mental and physical health outcomes.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. It affects people from all countries, socio-economic groups and cultures. Its prevalence is similar around the world and it is most likely to start between the ages of 15 to 35 years, affecting about 1 in every 100 people during their lifetime. It is estimated that a total of 12,000 individuals with schizophrenia were in contact with health services in Scotland in 2004.

Paliperidone palmitate 3-monthly injection provides the longest dosing interval available for an antipsychotic medication, allowing patients to maintain an optimal level of treatment with fewer administrations compared to currently available antipsychotic treatments, which could improve outcomes for patients, carers and healthcare professionals. Paliperidone palmitate 3-monthly injection, with its longer dosing interval, has been shown to decrease the likelihood of hospital admissions compared to placebo.

Jennifer Lee, Director of Health Economics, Market Access and Reimbursement at Janssen UK, said: “This is a significant step forward in the treatment of schizophrenia providing an option that will be welcome news to patients and prescribing healthcare practitioners in Scotland. This decision is the result of ongoing collaboration between Janssen and the SMC to achieve patient access to our medicines.

“Trevicta (paliperidone palmitate 3-monthly injection) has the potential to contribute towards an improved quality of life for people living with schizophrenia, and has the potential to reduce the likelihood of relapse.”