July 5, 2011
The discovery that many people with life problems or occasional bad moods would willingly dose themselves with antidepressants sailed the drug industry through the 2000s. A good chunk of the $4.5 billion a year direct-to-consumer advertising has been devoted to convincing people they don’t have problems with their job, the economy and their family, they have depression. Especially because depression can’t be diagnosed from a blood test.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Unfortunately, three things dried up the depression gravy train for the drug industry. Blockbusters went off patent and generics took off, antidepressants were linked with gory and unpredictable violence, especially in young users and — they didn’t even work, according to medical articles!
That’s when the drug industry began debuting the concept of “treatment resistant depression.” It wasn’t that their drugs didn’t work (or you didn’t have depression in the first place), you had “treatment resistant depression.” Your first expensive and dangerous drug needed to be coupled with more expensive and dangerous drugs because monotherapy, one drug alone, wasn’t doing the trick!
You’ve got to admire the drug industry’s audacity with this upsell strategy. Adding drugs to your treatment resistant depression triples its take, patients don’t know which drug is working so they’ll take all of them and the defective drugs are exonerated! (Because the problem is you.)