Mental health, medicines 
top of mind for industry

In July, the country’s largest trade group representing the drug industry released a report showing nearly 200 drugs under clinical development or Food and Drug Administration review for treating mental disorders.


The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America released a report listing 187 drugs, including 52 for depression, 37 for schizophrenia and 26 for anxiety disorders.


“Mental illnesses do not discriminate and can have a profound impact on people’s lives,” PhRMA president and CEO John Castellani said. “They come in many different forms and impact patients in many different ways. That is why biopharmaceutical research companies are working on new and better paths of treatment for patients battling these disabling conditions.”


According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1-in-4 American adults has a diagnosable mental disorder, and serious mental illnesses cost the country more than $317 billion per year in lost wages, healthcare expenditures and disability benefits. And according to a report released by IMS Health in April, mental health disorders were among the five categories accounting for nearly one-third of total healthcare spending in the country. At the same time, a June report by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 8% of respondents to a survey said they had problems getting mental health care in the past year due to the cost.


A report released in March by pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions found that women take mental health drugs at a much higher rate than men. The study found that 25% of women use psychotropic drugs, compared with 15% of men. The study was based on the pharmacy claims of more than 2 million Americans and measured the use of drugs for treating depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and psychotic disorders between 2001 and 2010.