Access and Utilization of New Antidepressant and Antipsychotic Medications. C. Scope of Study


From its outset, this study was designed to answer the above questions by evaluating six principal issues that work together to influence the degree to which consumers have access to and are able to use the most up to date pharmaceutical therapies for mental illnesses. Broadly speaking, these issues include:

  • The existing policies, guidelines, and practices that affect the availability and use of the new antidepressant and antipsychotic medications from the perspective of the stakeholders;
  • The factors or considerations that are perceived as obstacles or barriers to the use of newer psychotropic medications (i.e., "access");
  • Obstacles or problems associated with current formulary policies or clinical guidelines that may inhibit appropriate use of these medications (i.e., "utilization");
  • Patterns of antidepressant and antipsychotic utilization in Medicaid between 1995 and 1998;
  • The cost-effectiveness of newer medications as assessed through a limited literature review supplemented by discussions with key stakeholders; and
  • Emerging trends in the coverage of pharmaceuticals that likely will post the most significant threats to the widespread accessibility of newer technologies.