Access and Utilization of New Antidepressant and Antipsychotic Medications. A. Treatment Guidelines and Preferred Medications


Guidelines for the treatment of schizophrenia, depression and other mental disorders have been produced by various sources. By and large, however, these have been the products of individual health plans, health service programs, or professional associations. Two sets of guidelines have come from national sources: The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) has published guidelines for the treatment of depression in primary care30 as well as the findings of the Patient Outcomes Research Team (PORT) study on the treatment of Schizophrenia.31 The American Psychiatric Association produces clinical practice guidelines for a variety of mental illnesses including Major Depressive Disorder32 and Schizophrenia.33 In general, all guidelines list effectiveness, safety, patient history, and cost as important factors to consider in making treatment decisions.