Injecting Pharmaceutical Skill into Schizophrenia Care

Educational Objectives

After participating in this activity, pharmacists will be able to:

  • Discuss how schizophrenia's propensity to cause internal conflict and subjective distress often leads to nonadherence and use patient centered approaches to improve care
  •  Implement pharmacologic approaches to address suboptimal outcomes for persons with schizophrenia
  •  Identify situations in which oral, long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotics, or a combination of both are reasonable choices
  •  Compare available long-acting injectable antipsychotic agents' indications, risks and benefits, pharmacokinetic profiles, dosing, and administration techniques in the pharmacy
  •  Discuss emerging opportunities for pharmacists administer and monitor LAI antipsychotic medication

After participating in this activity pharmacy technicians will be able to:

  • Discuss the association between schizophrenia diagnosis and medication adherence
  • List long-acting injectable drugs used in schizophrenia, and address inventory management issues
  • Recognize when to refer patients to the pharmacist for help with their schizophrenia
  • Determine the best way to help patients engage in a patient assistance program

Session Offered

Release Date: November 15,2019

Expiration Date: November 15,2021

Course Fee


Session Codes

19YC61-ABC36 Pharmacist

19YC61-CBA88 Pharmacy Technician

Accreditation Hours

2.0 hours of CE


Schizophrenia is a severe, persistent mental illness that affects 0.3% to 0.7% of the U.S. population. Individuals with schizophrenia often lack insight into their illness and struggle with periods of adequate and inadequate symptom control. Individuals are often stigmatized by a community that is uncomfortable with schizophrenia's symptoms due to fear and misunderstanding. The antipsychotics that have been developed over the last 60 or more years have numerous side effects and require close monitoring. Lack of insight, stigma, and side effects put individuals with schizophrenia at high risk for medication nonadherence, poor clinical outcomes, and costly hospitalizations. More antipsychotics are available in long-acting injectable formulations. These delayed-release formulations allow patients to maintain therapeutic levels of antipsychotics for weeks to
months after an injection. Such properties can help improve medication adherence. In some states, pharmacists can administer LAIAs in community pharmacies and improve patient access to these valuable medications.

Accreditation Statements

The University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are eligible to participate in this application-based activity and will receive up to 0.2 CEU (2 contact hours) for completing the activity, passing the quiz with a grade of 70% or better, and completing an online evaluation. Statements of credit are available via the CPE Monitor on- line system and your participation will be recorded with CPE Monitor within 72 hours of submission


Grant funding: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

Cost: Free

Initial Release Date: November 15, 2019
Expiration Date: November 15, 2021

To obtain CPE credit, visit the UConn Online CE Center

Use your NABP E-profile ID and the session code 19YC61-ABC36 for pharmacists or 19YC61-CBA88 for pharmacy technicians to access the online quiz and evaluation.

First- time users must pre-register in the Online CE Center. Test results will be displayed immediately and your participation will be recorded with CPE Mon- itor within 72 hours of completing the requirements.

For questions concerning the online CPE activities, email



Nathaniel Rickles, PharmD, PhD, BCPP, Associate Clinical Professor

Kristin Waters, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP, Assistant Clinical Professor, University of Connecticut

Faculty Disclosure

The authors have no actual or potential conflicts of interest associated with this article.

Disclosure of Discussions of Off-label and Investigational Drug Use

This activity may contain discussion of off label/unapproved use of drugs. The content and views presented in this educational program are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent those of the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.



Schizophrenia is a chronic, debilitating, serious mental illness (SMI) that affects approximately 0.3 to 0.7% of the global population. Patients with schizophrenia have a significant decline in life expectancy. In a comparison of 220 unique disease conditions, acute schizophrenia was shown to impose the highest degree of disability.1 Schizophrenia’s economic burden is high, with an approximated cost of $155.7 billion in the United States in 2013.2


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