NICE decides to back Abilify in schizophrenia

pharmafile | January 27, 2011 | News story | Sales and Marketing Abilify, BMS, Bristol-Myers Squibb, NICE, Otsuka, aripiprazole, schizophrenia 

NICE has changed its mind over Bristol-Myers Squibb’s and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Abilify, deciding to recommend the drug as a schizophrenia treatment for young people.

The institute’s final guidance backs Abilify’s (aripiprazole) use in young people aged 15 to 17 years as an alternative to J&J’s Risperdal, because of intolerance or contraindications to that drug. NICE also recommends its use if their schizophrenia has not been adequately controlled with Risperdal(risperidone).

In September, the cost-effectiveness body was minded not to recommend the drug, and wanted more data on the drug’s cost-effectiveness compared to other licensed atypical antipsychotics.

Dr Carole Longson, health technology evaluation centre director at NICE, said: “Young people diagnosed with schizophrenia are usually treated with atypical antipsychotics at a low dose and are closely monitored.

“The choice of treatment depends on a number of factors, and risperidone is currently the most widely used first-line antipsychotic treatment.

“The committee felt that people who were unable to take risperidone may benefit from aripiprazole.

“We are pleased to be able to recommend another treatment option for young people with this debilitating condition which will help young people with schizophrenia have greater control over their condition and support them in returning to previous normal functioning in terms of attending school or work.”

Ben Adams

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