Sovereign Health Group Blog

No new antidepressants for another 10 years, say scientists

Posted on 01-23-2017 Posted in Depression, Medicine, Mental Health - 0 Comments

Depression is growing at an unprecedented rate. Still, no new medication seems to be surfacing, and according to researchers, this may hold true for another 10 years. The reason is simple: no profit margin. According to the neuroscientist Apryl Pooley, pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to fund research for new antidepressants as financial risks seem to shadow monetary gains.

While talking about the stagnant state of pharmaceutical research, Pooley recently told The Fix, “What we’re seeing here is a consequence of commodifying and assigning a market value to human health. This is not a ‘failure of science,’ this is a failure of capitalism. The pharmaceutical industry has made billions of dollars over the last four decades promoting the ‘chemical model of mental illness,’ meaning that a chemical imbalance is the primary cause of mental illness and it can be corrected with drugs that influence the chemical makeup of the brain.”

$1 billion for trials

Oxford psychiatrist Guy Goodwin explained that pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to invest in research for new drugs as the entire process is expensive and the industry does not get to benefit monetarily. “It costs approximately $1 billion to do all the trials before you launch a new drug,” says Goodwin.

He further believes the problem is with science. He said that the scientists do not fully understand the diseases they are trying to cure. It just does not make fiscal sense for companies to invest billions on drugs that may not work.

Depression a pervasive illness

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), depression is a big problem for the society. According to the ADAA:

  • In 2014, over 15 million American adults (6.7 percent) experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year
  • At any given time, 3-5 percent American adults experience major depression
  • 2 out of 100 children and 8 out of 100 teenagers experience serious depression

Seeking treatment for mental illnesses

Sovereign Health of Florida uses the latest evidence-based therapies to treat depression. Each patient undergoes a thorough assessment during admission. Our clinicians use the patient’s medical history and the information gathered during the assessment to devise a tailored treatment plan, specific to the patient’s needs. Depending on the patient’s progress, changes are made in the treatment plan. Contact the 24/7 helpline listed on this webpage to find out more about our mental health treatment programs.

About the author 

Darren Fraser is a content writer for Sovereign Health. He worked two and half years as reporter and researcher for The Yomiuri Shimbun until they realized he did not read, speak or write Japanese and fired him. Undeterred, he channels his love of research into unearthing stories that provide hope to those dealing with addiction and mental illness. Darren loves the Montreal Canadiens hockey club, Fichte and horror films and would prefer to enjoy these from the comforts of his family’s farm in Quebec. For more information about this media, contact the author at

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