A markov model of the cost effectiveness of olanzapine treatment for agitation and psychosis in Alzheimer's disease

Clinical Drug Investigation
Stephanie KirbachJacobo Mintzer

Abstract

Antipsychotics have long been used to treat agitation and psychosis related to Alzheimer's disease, but in a limited fashion because of troubling adverse effects. The new atypical antipsychotics are thought to be at least as effective as first-generation drugs and to cause fewer adverse effects. These drugs, however, are currently not US FDA-approved for use among elderly demented subjects due to a slight increase in the risk of death and serious cardiovascular events within this population. However, their favourable adverse effect profile has led many physicians to prescribe these drugs as first-line therapy for behaviourally disturbed patients with Alzheimer's disease. Clinical trials to evaluate the use of atypical antipsychotics have produced varying results, and clarity has not yet been achieved. Thus, a quantitative summary of the risks and benefits may help inform complex decisions that must be made in this area. In this study we set out to compare the expected costs and outcomes for a community-dwelling cohort of patients with Alzheimer's disease with agitation and/or psychosis who are (a) untreated, or (b) treated with olanzapine. We constructed a Markov state-transition model using the best published data from several...Continue Reading

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