Drug companies are getting depressed about their antidepressants

Acccording to Reuters UK…

Data from Thomson Reuters Pharma shows returns for pharmaceutical companies in the antidepressant market are collapsing, even though there is still widespread use of pills like Prozac. Investors in TC-5214, an antidepressant from AstraZeneca and Targacept recently took a big bath—a cold one. Last October Novartis halted work on an antidepressant called agomelatine after spending millions of dollars. Same with Merck & Co’s aprepitant.

Pharmaceuticals and their cohorts in mainstream medicine are amazed at this setback. And apprehensive. This isn’t the way it was supposed to be. An increasing number of medical professionals are conceding that antidepressants only work for some of the people some of the time. “It’s a great time for brain science, but at the same time a poor time for drug discovery for brain disorders,” laments David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London. “That’s an amazing paradox which we need to do something about.”

It seems that despite frantic efforts by pharmaceuticals to create ever more pills to ‘help’ people with their depression or dementia, the number of folks with mental problems keep piling up, along with their pill-popping. One in five adults in the U.S. is now taking at least one psychiatric drug, according to data from Medco Health Solutions, a pharmacy benefit manager. About a third of Americans and 40 percent of Europeans could be classified as mentally ill, with a European study last year finding that 165 million people in the region suffer each year from a brain disorder of some kind.

Some depressed Big Pharma firms are quitting the field altogether, according to the Reuters article. Others are backpedaling investment promises and shedding jobs.

Still others are casting their eyeballs around to more profitable fields such as cancer and diabetes, that have had less negative public exposure than psychotropic drugs, now recognized as the west’s biggest drug problem and a goldmine for street drug dealers.

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