Past Issues

Research on Asian Prescription Patterns (REAP): Focusing on Data from Japan

Shinfuku Naotaka

Since 2001, Asian psychiatrists have carried out collaborative research on the prescription patterns of psychotropic drugs in Asia (REAP). Investigators, who participated in the survey in 2001 and 2004, were from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. In 2008, investigators from India, Malaysia, and Thailand also joined this research. All investigators collected the data based on a unified questionnaire-based research protocol. More than 6,000 prescriptions of schizophrenic inpatients, (around 2,000 prescriptions each in 2001, 2004, and 2008), were analyzed and compared. The results have yielded that Japan has no-table high-dose antipsychotic prescription and high frequency of polypharmacy than other participating countries and areas, that the availability of particular drugs differs greatly from country to country, and that there has been a major shift in the prescriptions from first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) to second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) in all participated Asian countries from 2001 to 2008. This shift has been accompanied by changes in side effects and by the use of other psy-chotropic drugs. These findings have been reported in more than 30 international journals. In 2004, REAP members surveyed the prescription patterns of antide-pressants and did a follow up survey in 2013. More than 200 psychiatrists of 40 psychiatric institutions from 10 countries and areas in Asia participated in the re-cently concluded 2013 survey. The goal of REAP has been to improve prescription patterns of psychotropic drugs in those participated Asian countries. REAP has potential to promote collaborative research in psychiatry among developed and developing countries in Asia.
Key Word schizophrenia, antipsychotic drugs, polypharmacy, antidepressants
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