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Archive for the ‘Antipsychotics’ Category

FanaptThe Washington Post (11/2, Musgrove http://tinyurl.com/new-antipsychotic-Fanapt) reports that , “Early next year, if all goes according to plan, doctors will be able to prescribe a new antipsychotic drug for patients with schizophrenia.  Fanapt, like other antipsychotic drugs, controls the way information is carried from one nerve cell to another and reduces the activities of some brain activity associated with schizophrenia. The compound blocks a different combination of neurotransmitters than earlier-generation antipsychotic drugs.  Fanapt targets a more relevant set of neurotransmitter receptors, so that patients are likely to suffer fewer side effects than with other medications.

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moneyBBC News (10/6, Robert) reported that researchers at the University of London “are resorting to paying some psychiatric patients in the hope it will make them take their medication.” During “a trial, 68 patients with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia will get £15 [$23.81] for every jab of” an anti-psychotic, “earning them a possible £720 [$1,143] in a year,” while 68 other patients will receive “usual care.” According to study leader Professor Stefan Priebe, “bribery may be an option” after “all other attempts to achieve adherence” to medication regimens “have failed.” Priebe “expects that not only will patients be happy to trade an injection for cash, but that the ‘money for medication’ scheme should pay for itself, with the financial costs more than off-set by the savings made in reduced hospital admissions.”

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Risperdal_tabletsOn the front of its Marketplace section, the Wall Street Journal (5/18, B1, Armstrong) reports a deceleration in the increase of antipsychotic-medication “prescriptions for children…as state Medicaid agencies heighten their scrutiny of usage,” and physicians “grow more wary of the powerful” medicines. The softening “sales for children is the first sign that litigation, reaction to improper marketing tactics, and concern about side effects may be affecting what had been a fast-growing children’s drug segment.” Data from medical market research company SDI Health indicate that “antipsychotic prescriptions for children under 18 rose 5.2 percent between 2007 and 2008, compared with an increase of 8.73 percent in the year-earlier period,” with the “slowdown” being “more pronounced among younger children.” But, some psychiatrists “who treat children with serious and dangerous behavioral problems” now “worry that misconceptions about” antipsychotics “will prompt some parents or doctors to balk at their use.” Psychiatrist Louis Kraus, MD, said, “For those children who are seriously mentally ill…the benefits far outweigh the side effects.”

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Forbes (3/30, Herper) reported that statins “lost their position as the top-selling” medications “in the US last year, thanks to the fact that two top brands have lost patent protection and are being replaced by cheaper generics, according to industry consultants IMS Health.” Forbes noted, “With patents running out on old blockbusters and new medicines underperforming,” pharmaceutical “companies are losing the appetite to do the big studies of thousands of patients that have been a major scientific driver of the blockbuster age.” In addition, cholesterol medications “were replaced at the top of the US pharmaceutical sales charts by schizophrenia” medications, such as Zyprexa [olanzapine] from Eli Lilly and Seroquel [quetiapine] “from AstraZeneca. Antipsychotics are nearing patent expiry too, and they are controversy magnets.”

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