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Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1993 Aug;44(8):739-43.

Clozapine use by state programs: public mental health systems respond to a new medication.

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  • 1Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Austin 78711.


The authors present data from a national survey of state departments of mental health showing that two years after reaching the U.S. market, clozapine is available to only a small fraction of the patients whom it might benefit. The primary continuing hurdle for the public sector, where most schizophrenic patients get their care, is funding. Several arguments support the use of clozapine in state mental health systems: it is the most effective or only effective medication for many patients, it can decrease the enormous costs of schizophrenia and related disorders, and access to the medication has become an important issue for advocacy groups and other mental health activists. Two years of experience with clozapine in the Texas mental health system have shown that availability of clozapine in the community is a vital factor for successful use of the drug in hospitals. The authors discuss ways to encourage outpatient clozapine programs that are critical to successful treatment in both the hospital and the community.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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