Holmusk recently presented two posters that were accepted to the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology’s annual Congress. Both studies generated real-world evidence using longitudinal behavioral health real-world data from NeuroBlu, Holmusk’s industry-leading database. NeuroBlu, which contains data captured over more than 20 years, includes clinical information from more than 1 million patients receiving treatment at geographically diverse clinics across the U.S.
Providing Insights into Prescribing Trends for Schizophrenia
One study from Holmusk aimed to provide insight into the use of antipsychotic medications in treating schizophrenia. Although antipsychotics are the primary form of treatment for schizophrenia, there are several different kinds and response to treatment varies among individuals. Because of this variation, clinical guidelines recommend that treatment decisions be made on a patient-by-patient basis.
The study team drew from NeuroBlu to form a cohort of 3,642 participants who were prescribed an antipsychotic at the first diagnosis of schizophrenia. The analysis was able to identify trends in antipsychotic prescribing between 2011 and 2021, including:
• The most commonly prescribed antipsychotics over the 10-year study period
• The most frequently prescribed antipsychotic did not change over the 10-year study period
• Which medications were prescribed more or less frequently over time
“Examining real-world data can be beneficial in understanding how clinical practice in the real world reflects—or diverges from—clinical guidelines,” said Rashmi Patel, MD, PhD, Vice President for Medical & Scientific Affairs at Holmusk. “This is especially important in complex mental disorders where multiple factors are considered in treatment decisions.”
View the poster here.
Understanding the Relationship Between Comorbid Substance Use Disorder and Treatment Discontinuation
In this study, a team from Holmusk examined treatment duration of a unique antipsychotic for patients with schizophrenia. The study, which included 13,634 participants from NeuroBlu, split patients into two groups: those with schizophrenia only and those with schizophrenia plus a substance use disorder. The type of substance use disorder was also recorded.
Overall, the group that also had a substance use disorder experienced shorter treatment duration on a unique antipsychotic (an average of 176.8 days compared with an average of 270.0 days for the group with schizophrenia only). However, when the data were examined by type of substance, researchers found that alcohol, cannabis, opioid, and nicotine use disorders were not associated with a significant change in treatment duration, whereas those who used cocaine, stimulant, multiple substances, or other substances were more likely to stop or change treatment sooner.
“These findings indicate that some comorbid substance use disorders are associated with a shorter time spent on a unique antipsychotic treatment for schizophrenia, which could be attributed to a variety of factors, including reduced treatment response, exacerbated side effects, or poor adherence to treatment,” Patel said. “While this research does not touch on the impact this shorter treatment duration has on patient outcomes, our results do suggest that patients who live with both schizophrenia and substance use disorder could benefit from specialized treatment programs that are equipped to treat both conditions.”
View the poster here.