Much attention has been cast on the relationships between clinical medicine and the pharmaceutical industries. How much has the pharmaceutical industry been influencing the treatment of depression and anxiety? The rate of use of prescription medication in the United States is higher than in other industrialized nations. The use of prescription antidepressant medication has drastically increased in the past 20 years.
In fact, a 2007 study by the CDC found that in the United States, antidepressants were prescribed more often than medications for high blood pressure or high cholesterol! It is likely that the effects of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing, such as television and radio commercials, have played an important role in the increased use of many patented antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications. These medications have been very profitable for pharmaceutical companies. In recent years, television commercials even advertise serious antipsychotic medication – even for use with depression – despite the fact that many in the field consider these drugs to be overused and to cause problematic side effects.[Read more…]