Why Big Pharma Stopped Making Psychiatric Drugs:

The psychiatric drug industry is among the most profitable branch of the broader pharmaceutical industry. However, recently the pharmaceutical industry has experienced more and more players cut research funding and eventually developing psychiatric drugs. But why is big pharma choosing to give up on making new psych drugs? Big pharma has not explained their decision to cease from coming up with new psychiatric medication. However, several industry professionals have come up with explanations.

1. Cost

Richard Friedman, professor of clinical psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, was of the idea that the medicines were too expensive to develop. To design, execute and finally get a positive clinical trial is an expensive and time-consuming process. The pharmaceutical companies, according to Friedman, never really developed new drugs. They would wait for the patent to run out and after that make minor tweaks to the existing drugs.

Some drugs tend to show promise during the initial stages of development and the early stages of training. However, some fail miserably at the final hurdle, and this amounts to massive losses incurred by the companies. Even in cases of existing drugs, there arises another problem; generic drugs. The abundance of generic medicines in the market has made it harder for pharmaceutical companies to continue production due to the losses they experience from this.

2.The Effectiveness Of Placebos

A placebo is a medical treatment that is inert. Meaning it has no active properties(a ‘dummy’ treatment). Research conducted in 2008 seems to suggest that placebos do work. The study pulled records submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the approval of four types of antidepressant drugs. From the findings, they noticed that the antidepressants did produce an overall decline in depression symptoms as compared to placebos. However, from their view, these effects were not clinically meaningful apart from instances where the patient was suffering from the most severe form of depression. They discovered that the difference in effectiveness between the two types of medication was comparatively small, even in instances where people suffered severe depression.

What Is The Connection Between These Drugs And Mental Health Disorders?

In 2018, the mental health watchdog, The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR),  examined school shootings and several other mass shootings in the united states. The research sheds light on one worrying issue. It pointed out the fact that withdrawal from psychotropic drugs can be directly linked to the recurring violence and aggressive behaviors. The research results were mind-blowing. They discovered that 172 people were wounded and another 80 killed in a total of 34 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence. And these acts were conducted by individuals taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs.

There may be several reasons that trigger violent and extreme behaviors in the youth, like mass murder, among the adolescent population. One such reason may be the constant use of psychotropic drugs. Statistics suggest that most people who commit such atrocious acts had been on treatment before their actions.

What Next?

The findings seem to point to the fact that there is a need to develop mechanisms that help people deal with mental health issues healthily. Solutions that are long term and that do not have side effects. If you are suffering from any mental health issues, it is advisable to seek the services of a therapist.


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