Traditionally, one of the most challenging aspects of treating schizophrenia is medication adherence. Patients who neglect to take their medicine have an elevated risk of relapse, hospitalization and suicide. “There’s a higher likelihood of an exacerbation of the illness occurring,” said Dr. Gustavo Alva, medical director at ATP Clinical Research (Costa Mesa, California).
The problem has led drug companies to develop long-acting formulations of antipsychotics. In that vein, Janssen (NYSE:JNJ) recently announced that it has scored FDA approval for the long-acting atypical antipsychotic Invega Hafyera (paliperidone palmitate). The drug is the first twice-yearly injectable treatment for adults with schizophrenia.
[Related: Janssen wins FDA approval of twice-yearly schizophrenia treatment]
Paliperidone is the primary active metabolite of Risperdal (risperidone), which first won FDA approval in 1993. The first long-acting injectable of paliperidone palmitat…