33. Economics of the Treatment of Schizophrenia

  1. Daniel R. Weinberger MD4 and
  2. Paul J. Harrison MA, BM, BCh, DM(Oxon), FRCPsych5
  1. Nancy H. Covell PhD1,2,
  2. Susan M. Essock PhD1 and
  3. Linda K. Frisman PhD3

Published Online: 8 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444327298.ch33

Schizophrenia, Third Edition

Schizophrenia, Third Edition

How to Cite

Covell, N. H., Essock, S. M. and Frisman, L. K. (2010) Economics of the Treatment of Schizophrenia, in Schizophrenia, Third Edition (eds D. R. Weinberger and P. J. Harrison), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444327298.ch33

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Genes, Cognition and Psychosis Program, Clinical Studies Section, Clinical Brain Disorders Branch, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

  2. 5

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Division of Mental Health Services & Policy Research, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA

  2. 2

    Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Hartford, CT, USA

  3. 3

    Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, University of Connecticut School of Social Work, Hartford, CT, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 MAR 2011
  2. Published Print: 10 DEC 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405176972

Online ISBN: 9781444327298



  • schizophrenia;
  • cost;
  • cost-effectiveness;
  • antipsychotic medication;
  • transfer payment


This chapter focuses on two aspects of the economics of schizophrenia: costs of mental illness and cost-effectiveness of treatment. Schizophrenia accounts for substantial spending (typically 1.5–3% of total national healthcare expenditures). When reporting cost-effectiveness analyses, the perspective from which the study is undertaken (e.g., cost to society, cost to payor) is important. In addition to costs of treatment and other services, such studies should also include lost productivity and family burden, capital costs (the value of resources in their best alternative use), criminal justice costs, and cost of administering transfer payments (such as social security). Cost-effectiveness analyses have evolved to deal with multiple domains touched by a single treatment by reporting the change in a given effectiveness measure associated with a particular cost investment in treatment. A treatment may be cost-effective with respect to certain outcomes, cost neutral for others, and costly for yet others.