Schizophrenia is a chronic, disabling mental illness associated with significant morbidity, and a reduced life-expectancy of at least 13 to 15 years.1

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Discuss the role of clozapine in the management of treatment-refractory schizophrenia
  • Identify the monitoring requirements associated with supply of clozapine from community pharmacy
  • Recognise when referral to a prescriber or clozapine coordinator is required for someone taking clozapine
  • Describe the barriers and facilitators for implementing a clozapine supply service within a community pharmacy.

Competency standards addressed (2016): 1.1, 1.6, 2.2, 2.3, 4.2

Already read the CPD in the journal? Scroll to the bottom to SUBMIT ANSWERS.  

While schizophrenia is not a common mental illness, with global prevalence rates under 1%,2 up to 30% of individuals experience treatment-refractory (also known as treatment-resistant) schizophrenia.3 This term is typically used when an individual continues to have recurrent or relatively severe positive, negative and/or cognitive symptoms, often with accompanying emotional distress or disability, despite receiving adequate treatment.4 Current guidelines suggest that adequate treatment involves trialling at least two different antipsychotics, with RANZCP practice guidelines and eTG referring to a reasonable trial period of at least six weeks.4,5

While there is significant variability in how treatment-refractory schizophrenia has been defined,6,7 clozapine is well recognised as the most appropriate medicine due to its superior efficacy,8 and associated reduction in hospitalisation9 and mortality ra

THIS IS A CPD ARTICLE. YOU NEED TO BE A PSA MEMBER AND LOGGED IN TO READ MORE.