Patients should be offered money to comply with antipsychotic medication

GPs are concerned over recent suggestions to offer money to schizophrenia patients in the community to improve their drug adherence.

UK psychiatrists say offering non-adherent patients £5–15 per single depot injection of antipsychotic drugs improves uptake and cuts hospital admissions.

Out of five schizophrenic patients at the Newham Centre for Mental Health in east London offered the scheme, four agreed.

As well as improved adherence, they all stayed in their own homes and had fewer problems with neighbours and police than before starting the scheme.

Since the trial began in summer 2003, three have remained without hospital admission.

The researchers hope to carry out a randomised controlled trial of the scheme and a study to consider the ethical implications of ‘money for medication’.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

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