Objectives: Real-world experience from a 6-month product familiarization programme (PFP) for 3-monthly paliperidone palmitate in schizophrenia maintenance treatment.
Methods: Prescribers completed an online questionnaire for each patient at enrolment with further questions at second dose (re-supply) stage and a second survey of their overall experience at the end.
Results: Ninety-four patients were enrolled and received a first dose and 23 received a second dose within the 6-month programme; 51.1% had been hospitalised for symptom relapse in the previous 2 years. Reasons for prescribing were convenience of 3-monthly dosing for patients (94.7%) and patient choice (54.6%). Prescribers followed-up at least once-monthly (69.6% cases) and indicated in 48.9% they would consider shared GP care. All patients were satisfied with symptom control and either maintained functioning or showed improvement. Clinicians felt confident with administration and identifying suitable patients and were all 'satisfied' or 'somewhat satisfied' with efficacy and tolerability. All felt patients' treatment goals were either 'met' (81.3%) or 'partly met' (18.7%) and none reported dissatisfaction with relapse prevention.
Conclusions: Convenient 3-monthly dosing was preferred by clinicians and patients, and symptoms were adequately managed. This has the potential to improve adherence and lead to better outcomes as patients only need four intramuscular doses per year.