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The Antipsychotic Atlas: Medicare Usage of Antipsychotic Medications in Washington State

Washington Attorney General
9/1/2013 – 8/31/2015

ยป Project website


Adults with severe mental illness die an average of 25 years earlier than the general population, and the economic and social costs of serious mental illness are enormous. Appropriate use of antipsychotic medications can significantly extend and improve the lives of people with schizophrenia and manic-depressive psychosis, but can also heighten risk for serious adverse effects including cardiometabolic dysfunction, diabetes, cerebrovascular events, thromboembolism, and sudden cardiac death.

The objective of this two year study is to provide a detailed portrait of antipsychotic utilization in Washington at the regional support network (RSN) and county level. We will use newly released Medicare D claims data to document patient level disparities in use, including off-label use and nonadherence. We will then assess relative rates of metabolic syndrome, stroke, and thromboembolism among WA antipsychotic users. Our aim is to understand and ameliorate the negative effects of over-prescribing and inappropriate off-label use of mental health drugs. The study findings will help inform state policymaking and clinical practice in Washington.

Primary Investigator

Jae Kennedy
James Kennedy, PhD
WSU Health Policy & Administration