Prior investigations suggest that olanzapine use declined rapidly after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) communication and consensus statement warning of the drug’s increased metabolic risks, but whether declines differed by racial-ethnic groups is unknown.
Changes in olanzapine use over time by race-ethnicity was assessed among 7,901 Florida Medicaid enrollees with schizophrenia.
Prior to the advisory, 57% of second-generation antipsychotic fills among Hispanics were for olanzapine, compared with 40% for whites or blacks (adjusted risk difference [ARD]=.17, 95% confidence interval [CI]=.13–.20). Olanzapine use declined among all racial-ethnic groups. Although Hispanics had greater olanzapine use than whites in each period, the differences in absolute risk were only 3% by the latest study period (ARD=.03, CI=.01–.04).
After the FDA communication and consensus statement were issued, differences in olanzapine use between white and Hispanic enrollees narrowed considerably. Identifying high-use subgroups for targeted delivery of drug safety information may help eliminate any existing differences in prescribing.