Adverse side effects of antidepressant drugs

Despite 35 years of research antidepressant drugs

can cause adverse side effects

Depression is big business

It takes about 10 years and costs around £350 million pounds to develop a new drug...
Many drugs fail at some stage in their testing phase
The patent on a new drug only lasts 10 years - during this time development costs must be recouped and profit earned for new drug developments
Prozac launched in 1987, and Seroxat available from 1998, earn their manufacturers about one billion pounds per year.
It costs the NHS £20 to treat a patient for one month with Prozac or Seroxat World-wide, 37 million patients have received Prozac since its launch in 1987
Once out of patent, generic forms of the drug can be sold at a fraction of the cost of the original because the manufacturer does not have to bear the development and testing costs

It costs the NHS £1 to treat a patient for one month with a generic antidepressant
The global market for antidepressants was worth $10 billion in 1998 and it is estimated that it will grow 20% each year to 2006. The Japanese consume very few antidepressants.
Reboxetine, the first selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor is
being tipped as the next big money spinner

It is conceivable that in the future antidepressants will be available 'over-the-counter' i.e. without prescription.
(Source: Kohn, 2000)

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