When discussing the antipsychotic Zyprexa, the Applbaum article touches on the idea that the emphasis on pharmaceuticals for treating mental illness is not really working. Beginning with chlorpromazine in 1952, antipsychotics have been pursued as the best, if not only viable option for treating schizophrenia. However, as Applbaum iterates, there is still no drug that cures the disease outright, manages patient’s symptoms universally, or comes without major side effects. It is often said that insanity is the process of trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result and this is what appears to be happening in the health care industry today. If over fifty years of the same strain of research is not enough to create some real advances, is it not worthwhile to allocate some funds into finding alternative paths to wellness, if not scrapping the project entirely?
While that may seem common sense for other markets and viewpoints, the pharmaceutical industry decided to prioritize finding new diseases to allocate their drugs to. The use of cormorbidities and off label uses of existing formulas shows an apparent unwillingness on all actor’s sides to take a risk and move away from pharmaceuticals as the magical answer for everything from infections to severe mental conditions. By hiding manipulating all channel intermediaries, the pharmaceutical companies have found a way to stifle creativity in the health care realm, and maintain the focus on blockbuster drugs that feed big pharma’s insatiable desire for money.
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