Schizophrenia is among the most serious psychiatric illnesses, causing both personal suffering and impaired functioning. Almost 90% of people with this illness are not employed, and many rely on family assistance and public support to pay for their health care and daily living expenses. In 1990, the Americans With Disabilities Act sought to increase work opportunities and reduce disability. However, between 1994 and 2003, recipients of Social Security Administration disability benefits for schizophrenia increased by 35% from 400 000 to 550 000, double the rate of increase of cardiovascular disability and 3 times the 11% growth in the adult population (Pamela Mazerski, associate commissioner, Social Security Administration, written communication, 2004).
Rosenheck RA. Outcomes, Costs, and Policy CautionA Commentary on the Cost Utility of the Latest Antipsychotic Drugs in Schizophrenia Study (CUtLASS 1). Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006;63(10):1074-1076. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.63.10.1074