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1971

1971 is the year that Prozac was invented. It wasn't until 1987 that it first became available for public use.

Eli Lilly did not develop the drug for depression, rather it was developed as a drug for the treatment of high blood pressure. This never happened because they couldn't duplicate the results viewed in animals when human trials of the drug were done. Plan B for Lilly was to use Prozac as an anti-obesity agent which also proved to be a failed option. They next decided to market it as a drug to treat those hospitalized with depression; yet another failure. Finally they tried it on a few people that were mildly depressed and it appeared to help them. By 1999 Prozac provided 25% of Eli Lilly's revenue; a whopping 10 billion dollars per year. 

I am not anti-medication. I take multiple medications and they have helped me and continue to help me. Prozac happens to be one of them. What I am is disgusted.  Disgusted at the lack of attention and money focused on treating mental illnesses. How can I say that? Aren't there now literally hundreds of drugs on the market, heavily advertised, to treat just about every mental illness that exists?

What I do know is that the vast majority of drugs currently on the market are nothing more than Prozac's cousins. SSRIs and SNRIs are not much more than variations in the molecular structure of Prozac. 

Prozac, a SSRI (selective serotonin uptake inhibitor) works the same way in the brain, using the same pathways as all the other SSRIs: Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Zoloft. What if there's a better pathway in the brain to focus on? 

There is and it's called the Glutamate system. A company by the name of Naurex is working on the first drug that affects and works on the Glutamate system in the brain. After over 3 sets of trials on humans it has the promise of being a "miracle" drug with limited side effects. The FDA has approved it for fast track status. It's a drug that was developed at a university in Illinois that has the potential to have an immediate and very positive impact on the well being and lives of people affected by mental illness.

Where have the drug companies put their money since the introduction of Prozac? Mainly advertising. The amount of money that drug companies spend on research and development to find the next 'Prozac' is quite small in comparison to the profits they are making. 

The companies stagnate on what they have; greed at it's best. But isn't what they have already good enough? No! Research the failure rate of any SSRI on the market and you'll see it's quite high. We wouldn't provide a drug to someone with diabetes that only works 40% of the time. Yet this is somehow acceptable to us when it applies to a drug that treats a mental illness. Millions upon millions of people take their lives or live in a constant hell on earth because there wasn't money to be made on finding real cures for the illness they have. 

By the way Prozac doesn't cure mental illness, it helps to reduce some of the negative symptoms in some people with some mental illnesses. 

If I sound angry about this I am. Cures are long overdue. This should never have been or be about money over people!


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