According to information from a global depression study, most patients don’t actually respond to the treatments they are being given. The survey was conducted by leading healthcare analysts.
This news is disturbing considering how dramatically the prescription of anti-depression medications has risen in recent years. The survey showed that as many as one-third of depressed patients don’t respond to treatment for the condition, and only another third of patients see an ebb in their symptoms. However, the sale of these drugs continues to grow, say the data, which were collected from researchers at Datamonitor Healthcare. What this means is that a lot of depression treatments are little more than huge money makers for the manufacturers and offer little to no real benefits for the patients.
For the survey, researchers analyzed information collected from doctors treating depressed patients and from monitoring the prescription habits of those doctors in the U.S., Japan and Europe.
“Our research has highlighted shortcomings in the current treatment of depression patients, with existing treatments either lacking in antidepressant efficacy or bearing intolerable side effects for many patients,” says Daniel Chancellor, lead analyst at Datamonitor Healthcare. “Drug developers must focus on improving the speed of onset of efficacy, eliminating typical antidepressant side effects and providing symptom control for the one-third of patients with treatment-resistant depression.”
“A new drug displaying any of these three characteristics promises to be well-received by patients and has the potential to generate annual sales in excess of $1 billion, despite the numerous treatment options already available,” he adds.
SSRIs like Paxil are commonly used to treat depression and are linked to serious adverse effects. In fact, Paxil has been known to cause patients to suffer from violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior as well as lead to birth defects in babies born to mothers who take the pills while pregnant. The birth defects linked to Paxil use include PPHN, spina bifida, neural tube defects, oral clefts and heart, lung and brain defects. The continued use of Paxil and other antidepressants when no real benefits are shown makes these drugs pointless — especially when numerous studies show that the pills are no more beneficial than placebos at curing depression.