Two tier treatment of schizophrenia claimed

Rationing of the latest antipsychotics for schizophrenia has led
to two-tier treatment across the country, according to the National
Schizophrenia Fellowship.

Modern atypical drugs are more expensive, but the costs
associated with the increased chance of relapse by those using
older medicines far outweigh the difference.

Research published by the charity shows that only a third of
people receiving atypicals stop taking them without a
doctor’s support compared with almost a half using the older
typical treatments.

It also found that almost half of people on atypicals had been
offered a choice of anti-psychotics compared with just a third on
the older drugs.

Almost two thirds of people receiving atypicals were given
written information about their treatment compared with a third of
people receiving the older typical drugs.

Appraisal of whether atypcials should be rationed or made widely
available in the NHS will be launched by the National Institute for
Clinical Excellence.

Cliff Prior, NSF chief executive, said: “For most people,
atypicals are better tolerated, have fewer and less severe side
effects and allow for better communication with health

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