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Drug companies whine: "We can't afford brain research"


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Having reaped enormous profits from antidepressants but cut their losses on injury lawsuits, drug companies are now manipulating governments into insuring their risks.

 

Research into brain disorders under threat as drug firms pull out

Scientists warn of big financial and social impact while fear of litigation and expense is linked to move

 

Sarah Boseley guardian.co.uk, Monday 13 June 2011

 

A decision by leading drug companies to pull out abruptly from research into brain disorders such as depression and schizophrenia leaves families without hope and will have a huge financial impact on society, senior scientists are warning.

 

Recent announcements by companies such as UK-based GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca that they no longer intend to research new antidepressant drugs has effectively marked an end to the Prozac era, when leading drug companies vied to produce rival blockbuster pills that would be prescribed by GPs to millions of people with mild to moderate depression.

 

GSK's chief executive, Andrew Witty, denied last year that the controversy that broke around such pills -- including its own Seroxat, which was said to increase the risk of suicidal thoughts in young people -- was a factor in the decision.

 

He said they were some of the most expensive drugs to research, which could fail in late-stage trials.

 

Neuroscientists including David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, and Guy Goodwin, professor of psychiatry at Oxford University, are concerned that new treatments will dry up. They are the authors of a report for the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) published on Tuesday, which calls for urgent action to tackle the collapse of funding into research and medicines for brain disorders.

 

....

More than a quarter of the European Union population suffers from one or more neurological disorders every year, they say, which is a huge burden on health services and economies as people stay away from work. Their report says that throughout Europe, brain diseases are responsible for the loss of 23% of years of healthy life and 50% of years of disability -- at a total cost of £237bn a year.

 

"Despite the public health imperative, not only has EU research funding remained very low, but -- even worse -- big pharma is increasingly coming to see research into better neuropsychiatric drug targets as economically non-viable," said Nutt.

 

Charities and public bodies leave the financing of drug treatments for mental disorders to the drug companies, the scientists say. If the industry is not researching the causes of depression or schizophrenia in order to find new drugs, scientists will not be able to advance their knowledge.

 

"We have a pretty primitive understanding of how the brain works in comparison to other systems," said Nutt.

 

The scientists hope they can persuade drug companies to share the information they already have, and that by putting details of their research and unused potential drug discoveries into a "medicines chest", scientists will be able to investigate and learn from. Some companies may be willing to take part, said Nutt.

 

"The issue that most comes up is about litigation -- companies' concern that they could be sued 30 years down the line if an adverse effect emerged. We're thinking the ECNP could perhaps provide the insurance cover."

 

There are a number of reasons why companies are leaving the field, according to the report. Medicines for brain disorders take longer to develop than for other conditions -- on average, 13 years -- and there is a high failure rate.

 

Only one antidepressant, Agomelatine, has been licensed in the last 10 years, compared with 10 new drugs for epilepsy. Companies are also increasingly fearful of lawsuits, as patients pursue them through the courts over the adverse effects of medicines.

 

Nutt, who was appointed to a government inquiry into the safety of Seroxat in 2003 but (with others) had to withdraw because of previous financial links to GSK, denied there were serious issues with antidepressants.

 

"All drugs have side-effects. The risk-benefit analysis of antidepressants is overwhelmingly positive," he said.

 

He and Goodwin contrast the funding available in cancer treatment, much of which is provided in Britain by the charity Cancer Research UK.....Trials for new drugs for brain disorders have to involve thousands to ensure safety and efficacy in people who may be prescribed them by their GP.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/jun/13/research-brain-disorders-under-threat?INTCMP=SRCH

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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"All drugs have side-effects. The risk-benefit analysis of antidepressants is overwhelmingly positive," he said.

 

Those one and only sentence makes me puke. Of course all medicines have side effects. But with "normal" medicines, one has the choice to quit and eventually try another one. But with this addicting crap, quitting is not possible without going through something so hellish one could never imagine. And the only way of softening this process - by tapering slowly and constistently - has deliberately hidden by those evil men. This is one of the most shameful episides in history of medicine.

10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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I totally agree Claudius , How many other type of drugs cause a hell like this when you stop taking them. Perhaps David Nutt would like to try Paxil himself then see if he still feels the same!

Started Seroxat(Paxil) for panic attacks in 1997 stopped the drug in 2005 tapered over 3 months ( doctors advice)

Suffered severe and protracted withdrawl ever since.

No other medication taken.

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I have read other reports on this today.I have a question.All the cases of brain disorders such as alzheimer's could not be attributed to the years people have taken benzo's could it.?

Started Seroxat(Paxil) for panic attacks in 1997 stopped the drug in 2005 tapered over 3 months ( doctors advice)

Suffered severe and protracted withdrawl ever since.

No other medication taken.

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No, squirrel, there are brain diseases caused by other things, that existed before these drugs were invented.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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"All drugs have side-effects. The risk-benefit analysis of antidepressants is overwhelmingly positive," he said.

 

And where is the proof?

 

The so called golden standard study for ADs, the Star D study, has been show to be fraudulent as shown by this blog entry by a psychiatrist (not a crazy anti psychiatry scientologist)

 

http://1boringoldman.com/index.php/2011/04/06/recalculating/

 

Do these folks think that if they just keep repeating this mantra, that people will believe this without question? Do they really think we are that stupid?

 

Stepping down from soapbox.

 

Comp Sports

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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"All drugs have side-effects. The risk-benefit analysis of antidepressants is overwhelmingly positive," he said.

 

I hate this too! And they all say it! But there are side effects and there are side effects -- there has to be an honest risk-benefit analysis done for every medication for every patient at every stage of treatment.

 

If you are being treated for cancer, you may be willing to accept awful side effects for a short period to beat the cancer. But when it comes to antidepressants, there are effective non-drug treatments that should be considered before subjecting the patient to ANY side effects, much less prolonged side effects, such as sexual dysfunction.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Share on other sites

"All drugs have side-effects. The risk-benefit analysis of antidepressants is overwhelmingly positive," he said.

 

And where is the proof?

 

The so called golden standard study for ADs, the Star D study, has been show to be fraudulent as shown by this blog entry by a psychiatrist (not a crazy anti psychiatry scientologist)

 

http://1boringoldman.com/index.php/2011/04/06/recalculating/

 

Do these folks think that if they just keep repeating this mantra, that people will believe this without question? Do they really think we are that stupid?

 

Stepping down from soapbox.

 

Comp Sports

 

 

I agree re: where's the proof!

 

 

Please don't step down. Just take a rest but do step back up onto that soapbox whenever you wish, since I always appreciate what you offer.

 

Just wish I could keep up with all the posts. (lol)

 

 

Punar

To Face My Trials with "The Grace of a Woman Rather Than the Grief of a Child". (quote section by Veronica A. Shoffstall)

 

Be Not Afraid of Growing Slowly. Be Afraid of Only Standing Still.

(Chinese Proverb)

 

I Create and Build Empowerment Within Each Time I Choose to Face A Fear, Sit with it and Ask Myself, "What Do I Need to Learn?"

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"All drugs have side-effects. The risk-benefit analysis of antidepressants is overwhelmingly positive," he said.

 

I hate this too! And they all say it! But there are side effects and there are side effects -- there has to be an honest risk-benefit analysis done for every medication for every patient at every stage of treatment.

 

If you are being treated for cancer, you may be willing to accept awful side effects for a short period to beat the cancer. But when it comes to antidepressants, there are effective non-drug treatments that should be considered before subjecting the patient to ANY side effects, much less prolonged side effects, such as sexual dysfunction.

 

So true! I agree.

 

 

Punar

To Face My Trials with "The Grace of a Woman Rather Than the Grief of a Child". (quote section by Veronica A. Shoffstall)

 

Be Not Afraid of Growing Slowly. Be Afraid of Only Standing Still.

(Chinese Proverb)

 

I Create and Build Empowerment Within Each Time I Choose to Face A Fear, Sit with it and Ask Myself, "What Do I Need to Learn?"

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