Study: New schizophrenia drugs no improvement

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New schizophrenia drugs are neither safer nor more effective than their older counterparts, a new government-sponsored study found.

When the study compared four new schizophrenia medications with one older one, three-quarters of the patients in the study dropped out, complaining of side effects or discomfort. The National Institutes of Health funded the study. Results will appear in the New England Journal of Medicine.

While Zyprexa from Eli Lilly worked longer than the other drugs in controlling symptoms, patients on the drug also were more likely to gain weight, leaving them vulnerable to diabetes.

Such a study could affect the market for schizophrenia drugs. The four new drugs generate $10 billion a year and take up 90% of the market.