Evidence has made it obvious that there is a global rise in the rates of anxiety and depression. Yet, experts claim that a new generation of antidepressants is unlikely to be introduced in the market until at least 10 years have passed. These specialists claim that a “failure of science” is partly responsible for the fact that there are no new antidepressants in the pipe. The other reason is apparently that big pharmaceutical companies do not see a definite profit potential in research and development in the field of neuroscience. So, they are no longer making any investment in it.
Thus, it will be very surprising if any new antidepressant medications end up surfacing in the next decade. The pharmaceutical industry believes that they cannot earn any profits from these medications, so it is simply not making any investment in the necessary research. Generally, developing and introducing a new medication into the market can cost up to billions of dollars. In terms of returns, there is indeed no certainty, so not investing is a means of risk aversion for big pharmaceutical companies. It is already obvious that a substantial amount of money has to be sent and the rate of failure is rather high.
When it comes to treating depression, patients are prescribed an antidepressant medication or have to undergo some form of psychotherapy. However, at times treatment is a combination of the two. Making matters worse, first-line antidepressants are not always successful in treating half of all patients. Furthermore, one-third of patients have develop a resistance to appropriate antidepressant medications.
In recent years, there has been a widespread availability of cheap generic forms of SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants, such as Prozac. According to experts, this has made health services opposed and unwilling to make investments in costly new medications that are not any more effective than the ones already available.
This is partially due to the fact that existing antidepressant medications are not perfect in any way, although it cannot be denied that they do prove to be effective for at least half of patients. Another reason behind this is that placebos tend to have an immensely greater effect in this condition.
Out of all the mental illnesses that are most prevalent worldwide, depression happens to be the most common. Over 350 million people all over the globe are suffering from depression. The World Health Organization has ranked depression as the leading global cause of disability. The rates of depression all over the world continue to increase. Merely based on data revolving around the population of England, antidepressants are now being prescribed twice as much in a decade. Back in 2005, there were 31 million prescriptions for antidepressants, and in 2015, there were 61 million.
This is even the case with the United States as well. Antidepressant use in the United States has also increased tremendously in the recent decade. According to a study published back in 2015 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, antidepressant has become twice as more prevalent in the U.S. between 1999 and 2010. The percentage of antidepressant use in the U.S. has risen from 6.9% to 13%.
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