Wednesday, September 8, 2010

FDA finds new ways to increase Merck's revenues

FDA approves wider market for schizophrenia drug Saphris.

The drug was first approved in August 2009 for treating acute schizophrenia episodes in adults and acute mania or manic-depressive behavior in adults with bipolar disorder.
 Merck says the FDA now has approved Saphris for ongoing treatment of schizophrenia and for treating acute mania or manic-depressive behavior in adult bipolar patients along with lithium, a mood-stabilizing drug often used to treat mania, or the antiseizure drug valproate.

This raises the perennial, but naive question "Who exactly is the Food and Drug Aministration working for?"

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1 comment:

  1. The Washington Post article sums it up nicely. The antipsychotic drug market is a competitive space and it is impossible not to be left with the distinction that the fundamental objective for the drug companies is market share of patented drugs.

    "Saphris, just launched in the fourth quarter, has lots of tough competition in the lucrative market for antipsychotic medicines, which are approved for treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Rival drugs include Johnson & Johnson's Risperdal, Eli Lilly & Co.'s Zyprexa, AstraZeneca PLC's Seroquel, Pfizer Inc.'s Geodon and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s Abilify."

    The motivation behind pushing these drugs is also summarized eloquently, not by any means for the benefit of those to whom it is prescribed but rather "Last year, antipsychotic drugs brought in $23.25 billion in worldwide sales, according to drug data firm IMS Health." Big business by any account.


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