How nice to know that the horse tranquilizer that later gained fashion in the RAVE party community as a good somewhat hallucinatory high is being refashioned by pharma as an antidepressant. Sounds really sound and sane, doesn’t it?
Why, I wonder, don’t more people see the connection between illicit drug-use and psychopharma? One is legitimized, the other is not, but it’s all inextricably linked. We are a culture afraid of dealing with our emotions. That drug use may sometimes be legitimate, fine, and I would say that is true with both legal and illegal drugs, but let’s not pretend pharma is safer than “recreational” drugs. In fact when used long-term for maintenance psychopharmaceuticals are often far more dangerous.
A single intravenous dose of the anesthetic agent ketamine appears to reduce symptoms of depression within 40 minutes among those with bipolar disorder who have not responded to other treatments, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
In other pharma news we hear that pharma is running out of ideas for psychiatry. Clearly given the above news this is exceedingly clear, though what is also clear is there has really never been a good idea from pharma. Biopsychiatry has been a dismal failure.
Is Pharma Running Out of Brainy Ideas? — Science
On 4 February, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced that it planned to pull the plug on drug discovery in some areas of neuroscience, including pain and depression. A few weeks later, news came that AstraZeneca was closing research facilities in the United States and Europe and ceasing drug-discovery work in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. These cutbacks by two of the top players in drug development for disorders of the central nervous system have raised concerns that the pharmaceutical industry is pulling out, or at least pulling back, in this area. In direct response to the cuts at GSK and AstraZeneca, the Institute of Medicine Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders organized a meeting in late June that brought together leaders from government, academia, and private foundations to take stock. But the biggest problem, researchers say, is that there is almost nothing in the pipeline that gives any hope for a transformation in the treatment of mental illness. That’s worrying, they say, because the need for better treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders is vast. Hundreds of millions of people are afflicted worldwide. Yet for some common disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease, no truly effective treatments exist; for others, like depression, the existing drugs have limited efficacy and substantial side effects.
Someday perhaps it will dawn on someone who has power and influence that the future of mental health care IS NOT in pharma. We have a myriad of methods that work in the way of alternatives but no one is funding these more elusive methods that deal with the whole person — body, mind and psyche.