Consciousness and how it got to be that way

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Top Psychiatric Prescriptions for 2009

Can be found here. While not of philosophical or scientific interest, it's certainly of professional interest to nervous system health professionals to ask to what degree the revenue growth is due to off-label use (at a guess, much more than half. Also note the comparison to simultaneous population growth).

Before starting med school I did clinical research for pharmaceutical companies for 12 years. In no polity that I know of can a drug be marketed "in general", that is, beyond some narrowly defined indication. Consequently the pattern of use of psychiatric drugs is very different than for other therapeutic areas. But they can certainly be used by practitioners this way. Is this inherent to the nature of psychiatric illnesses, or is it just an artifact of our regulatory enterprise? What risks are there to patients as a result of this pattern of use, and have we already seen an impact?

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