Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -
Refresh  
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
General News

How Pharma Got a Quarter of the Population on Antidepressants

By       Message Martha Rosenberg     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 9/26/17

Author 1353
Become a Fan
  (79 fans)
- Advertisement -

From the debut of Prozac, in 1988, ten years before direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertising, one of the top performing drug categories was depression drugs. In fact the discovery that people with real life problems with their job, the economy and their family would term it "depression" sailed Pharma through the 1990s and 2000s. Unlike drugs like Valium and Librium which were taken as needed and which the new antidepressants replaced (because anxiety was now "really depression" according to Pharma messaging) the new antidepressants were taken every day, for years. Ka-ching.

Ten years after DTC advertising began, the number of Americans on antidepressants had already doubled to 27 million or 10 percent of the population (though almost 73 percent had no psychiatric diagnoses). Today as much as 25 percent of some U.S. demographics are on antidepressants. So many people are now on antidepressants, waterways themselves are swimming with the drugs from wastewater and fish are actually "on Prozac."

The weight gain, sexual dysfunction and bone thinning/fractures linked to antidepressants have been well publicized. But a 2010 JAMA article suggested that in most cases antidepressants don't even work. Other research suggests the drugs only work for a short time----though people are kept on them for years and even decades. (SSRI antidepressants also can trigger extreme and bizarre violence including mass shootings, knife attacks, suicide and even self-immolation.)

- Advertisement -

Faced with drugs that never work, stop working or patients who do not have depression to begin with, Pharma has rolled out a lucrative "add-on" marketing scheme. "Approximately 2 out of 3 people being treated for depression still have unresolved symptoms," it says. Pharma loves add-on campaigns because they triple its profits and few ask why they should take the first drug if it is not working. For example 100 pills of the brand name add-on drug Abilify cost $1,644 and 100 pills of the brand name add-on drug Invega cost $1,789. That's enough to make you depressed.


Add-on depression drugs triples Pharma profits
(Image by Martha Rosenberg)
  Permission   Details   DMCA

- Advertisement -

Other Ways To Sell Antidepressants

Pharma has other methods to prop up its depression franchise. If your first expensive drug followed by your second expensive drug doesn't work, maybe you have "treatment resistant depression!" Who's to say you don't? There is no blood test for depression. Let's add a third and fourth drug.

There is another trick to keep the antidepressant boat afloat. Before direct-to-consumer drug advertising, depression was considered to be a self-limiting disease----neither a lifelong condition or progressive. But now, Pharma, on the basis of no credible research, says depression is "progressive." Don't wait----you'll get worse says Pharma's unabashed scare campaign.

Here is how Vladimir Maletic, MD who served on Eli Lilly's Speaker's Bureau, puts it. "Depressive episodes become more easily triggered over time. As the number of major depressive episodes increase, the risk for subsequent episodes is predicted more from the number of prior episodes and less from the occurrence of a recent life stress." Does anyone need to be told that Eli Lilly makes a lot of antidepressants?

There is one more rung in Pharma's scheme of selling drugs that often don't work for a disease people often don't have. Programs for the poor. As Pharma's drug prices go up, it rolls out patient assistance programs or coupons to dodge the accusation of harming the poor. Yet the compassion pricing is merely public relations and cost shifting. Pharma still gets it five and six digit drugs paid for by taxpayers and by the premiums of the privately insured. Pharma's depression profits are...progressive.

- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Grassley Investigates Lilly/WebMD link Reported by Washington Post

The Drug Store in Your Tap Water

It's the Cymbalta Stupid

Are You Sure You're Not Psychotic Asks Shameless Drug Company?

Another Poorly Regulated "Derivative"--the Antidepressant Pristiq

MRSA and More. Antibiotics Linked to Obesity and Allergies, Too

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments


Martha Rosenberg

Become a Fan
Author 1353

(Member since Apr 16, 2006), 79 fans, 753 articles, 454 comments, 2 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content
Never have so many people been on antidepressants and never has suicide been higher. It is not possible to prove the SSRIs and other psychoactives are causing the problems but they sure the hell aren't helping

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 8:39:31 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

John Jonik

Become a Fan
Author 10030

(Member since Jan 16, 2008), 15 fans, 38 articles, 1644 comments, 6 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

For just a side point....if Big Pharma can escape exposure, indictment, or even parenthetical mention (even from the "concerned" progressive left/enviros/health activists etc) that top Pharms are Part and Parcel of everyone's hated, mass-homicidal, notoriously-corrupt Cigarette Industry via Still Legal (!) tobacco pesticides..not to mention all sorts of other unlabeled cigarette additives like artificial flavorings, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, humectants, etc...etc., well the longer it will take to do much effective against the Pharm cartels.

N.B. Tobacco is the SIXTH most Pesticide Intensive Crop (according to even the US GAO)...not that the direct and indirect dead and sickened victims (incl. wildlife) of those chems and residues etc get even a thought from the Anti-Pesticide community. Big Pharm pretty much IS Big Pesticides. No secret....just inexplicably ignored.

The wholesome (?) "no smoking" campaign is about as off-target or scapegoating or silly (if you think about it) as would be "No Breathing" campaigns downwind from a typical tobacco plantation.

Look who's PUSHING the "no smoking" crusade...Mainstream Media and Corporate-Serving "public" officials. Isn't that a clue to something? Even top Pharms DEEPLY into Chlorine Uses (as in typical cigs...paper and pesticides) like Johnson & Johnson are "anti smoking".

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 at 2:44:47 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

John Peebles

Become a Fan
Author 240

(Member since Apr 3, 2006), 11 fans, 24 articles, 11 quicklinks, 424 comments, 11 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

The class of drugs labelled SSRIs accumulate in the brain. The long-term effects are unknown.
The marketing of anti-depressants drives the course of treatment for the disease. Sales determine solution pathways regardless of the risk to public health.
Addiction is a characteristic of these drugs. Should a user try to quit, it can trigger withdrawal effects.
Mass shooting have increased radically. This is directly due to SSRIs and pharmaceutical treatments and/or withdrawal. I can't quantify the relationship but if the SSRIs can trigger psychotic episodes, then the drugs need to be taken off the market. However this would cause a potential explosion of violence as user suffer withdrawal. Perhaps the public health risk of discontinuing dosage is greater than stopping the use of the drug.
Detoxification must be managed by a highly qualified medical personnel only. Many who try may not be able to cease or it could be extremely dangerous to stop.
Suicide is a common consequence of taking these drugs. Most antidepressants will list suicidal thoughts and actions as a side effect on their label.
The worst part about widespread antidepressant use is that the takers of the drug lose any sense of empathy. They easily become venal and actually encourage more depressant use as a result of bullying and other forms of behavior towards others. It's as if their "depression" is remedied through the suppression of healthy human traits. [BTW this loss of empathy for sick people was recently discovered as a side effect of aspirin.]
Maybe whatever keeps us from feeling sympathy for others denies us to be sorry for ourselves. We don't know the science of brain and dosage levels vary wildly with no set amount being established.
This medicating of society brings to mind the horror of social engineering based on pharmaceuticals. I guess parents are drawn to legally prescribed drugs that can help their child, particular teenager. Pharmaceutical marketing capitalize on hormonal and other emotional challenges typically experienced by teenagers in school-sponsored screening sessions according to the documentary " A Prescription for Murder" ( A BBC documentary. Hard to find in the US. See here.}
The cavalier introduction of vast numbers of new drugs and huge quantities of state-mandated vaccines has put the health of millions at direct risk. If you or anyone you know is taking these pills, you need to know the dangers.
Rest assured, the casualties from mass shooting will continue to rise in direct correlation to the number of people taking SSRIs. Likewise, the incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorder has increased in direct correlation to the number of jabs mandated by captured regulators in government. See the work whistleblowers in the CDC (Dr. Thompson, for the real picture of how a revolving door cycle (lobbyist>regulator>lobbyist} has corrupted the government's crucial role of oversight in keeping American children safe. Do not trust the marketers of products, especially those who stand make more from your lack of skepticism and their co-opting of the public health regulatory regime.



Submitted on Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 at 9:04:37 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment