Antidepressant market narrows again

FDA posted a Public Health Advisory yesterday (Suicidality in Adults Being Treated with Antidepressant Medications) emphasizing that adults taking antidepressants should be closely watched “for worsening depression and for increased suicidal thinking or behavior.” Although the current drug labels discuss these issues, it’s bad news for the drug makers that FDA is highlighting the problems.

The blockbuster model relies on launching a drug for one indication and then expanding its use into a variety of others –the more the better. For example, antidepressants have been used first for adults with depression, but then later for kids and for smoking cessation. FDA’s warnings, first for adolescent use and now for general use, go in the opposite direction by making physicians wary to prescribe, and patients less likely to ask for drugs.

July 1, 2005

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