• schizophrenia;
  • clozapine;
  • cost-effectiveness

The costs and effects of clozapine treatment of refractory schizophrenic patients have been discussed recently. This study shows that 18 months of clozapine treatment results in an improvement of symptoms and social functioning in approximately 70% of treatment-refractory schizophrenic patients, compared with treatment with conventional neuroleptics during a similar period of time. Treatment with clozapine reduces the cost of inpatient care but places increased demands on active rehabilitation resources in outpatient care. This leads to increased total costs in a short-term perspective, but clozapine treatment is cost-saving for annual maintenance therapy. These costs must be weighed against the positive effects on psychotic symptoms and social functioning.