At last count, about 12% of Americans took antidepressants. Global revenue for antidepressants was about $14.5 billion in 2014 and is projected to grow to nearly $17 billion over the next three years. Clinical depression affects 6.7% of U.S. adults, or about 16 million people, and a growing number of children and teenagers too. It’s the leading cause of disability in the world, costing the U.S. economy alone $210 billion a year in lost productivity, missed days of work and care for the many physical and mental illnesses related to depression, like anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, migraines and sleep disorders.
There hasn’t been a major depression-drug breakthrough in nearly three decades, but a number of factors are conspiring to change that. Scientists are gaining a more nuanced picture of what depression is–not a monolithic disease, but probably dozens of distinct maladies–and they’re getting closer to learning what works for which kind of ailment. With suicides in the U.S. at their highest number in 30 years, experts agree that patients need faster ways to feel better, without waiting the typical four to eight weeks it takes for antidepressants to kick in. And as old drugs have gone off patent–making them less lucrative for drugmakers–companies are eager to find new revenue streams.
As many as 5 million people in the U.S. have treatment-resistant depression. This article provides some compelling insights into how Ketamine helps to treat depression.
Learn more by reading the full article here.
August 07, 2017 issue of TIME