Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Great DTC Commercial for Anti-Depressant Rexulti, But Depressing Facebook Presence!

Great DTC Commercial for Anti-Depressant Rexulti, But Depressing Facebook Presence! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Great DTC Ad for Anti-Deprtessant Rexulti, But Depressing Facebook Presense!


The US market for major depressive disorders will rise from $2.4 billion in 2015 to $4.6 billion in 2025. Rexulti, I [Rich Meyer] believe, is doing a great job trying to reach new patients with a great creative TV spot.


When visiting, the first message you see is “still struggling with depression, even on an antidepressant?” It ties in very nicely with the TV commercial showing people turning away from everyday situations while holding up a face with a smile on it. I believe the creative is hard hitting and targeted.



The website completes the creative with full integration and a host of helpful patient tools, but wouldn’t it be great to hear and see actual patient stories or patients talking about their battle with depression?


It seems that Rexulti is getting ready to take a huge slice out of the depression market, but they really need to take the next step and bring patients together to talk about depression.


On Facebook a search for Rexulti only results in class action lawsuit pages.


This of course is going to scare the hell out of potential patients and it’s something this brand can’t ignore of they really believe in their product.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Love the tiny notice: "Actor portrayal"!

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Do #Pharma Drug Ads in Medical Journals Perpetuate the Stigma of Depression?

Do #Pharma Drug Ads in Medical Journals Perpetuate the Stigma of Depression? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

As specialists in healthcare, stigma is something we frequently encounter across many of the disease areas in which we work. This is most evident when we are conducting research directly with patients and particularly in the emerging markets, which is my team’s focus.  From sexually transmitted diseases to mental illness, shame may be associated with their condition and is a devastating reality for many of the patients we seek to understand. 

The US National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) campaign to end discrimination against mental illness was heavily funded by a number of major pharmaceutical companies. Some commentators view such industry campaigns with cynicism, particularly in the more ambiguously defined and less clear cut therapy areas such as mental health. Making a label or diagnosis more ‘socially acceptable’ can be argued to be neither preventative nor curative but causative, i.e. done for the sole purpose of selling more people more drugs they don't need.
Pharmaceutical marketing materials have also been accused of perpetuating stigma. A 2010 literature review published in the Journal of Mental Health found that advertisements for psychiatric medication were more likely to include negative imagery and less likely to portray people in everyday situations.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Here's some comments from the authors of the research mentioned:

The way thapsychiatric medicatiois advertisein professional journals continues toperpetuate certain images and ideas regarding mental ill health. It is clearly separated fromany other health problem: advertisements for psychiatric medication are likely to containimages of people portrayed in abnormal situations in a negative way, and to include less textthan advertisements for non-psychiatric medication. The text that is used is more likely tofocus on narrative description of ‘case studies’ of people suffering from a particular mental health problerather than on anspecifimedically-relateinformatioabouthemedication itself: these individuals are almost always portrayed before any treatment, incontrast to individuals in advertisements for non-psychiatric medication, who are portrayedas living happily and actively after successful treatment.

In addition to any effects on the professionals who encounter these advertisements, thereis also thhighly importanissuof thoveralmessagthat differencebetweenadvertisements for psychiatric and non-psychiatric medication sends to client and patientpopulations, and indeed to the wider general public. To maintain a distinction betweenmental health problems and other health problems, and in particular to portray mental illhealth more in terms of chaos, deviance, fear and Otherness risks perpetuating stigma thatprofessionals, and service users, may strive so hard to dismantle in other areas.

Read the research here:

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You May Soon Be Able To Take A Drug To Prevent Depression

You May Soon Be Able To Take A Drug To Prevent Depression | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Right now, someone with depression has only two clinical options: antidepressants (that often don’t work particularly well) and therapy. But there soon may be a third possibility: a vaccine that could prevent depression rather than attempting to treat it after the disease occurs.


Neuroscientist Rebecca Brachman is working on the development of a drug that increases resilience to stress–and because exposure to stress can trigger depression, the drug could help prevent the disease. Before someone enters a high-stress situation, they could take a dose of the drug.


“Imagine a scenario where we know someone is predictively at high risk for exposure to extreme stress,” Brachman, cofounder of the startup Paravax, said at TED 2017 (Brachman is a TED Fellow). “Say, a Red Cross volunteer going into an earthquake zone. In addition to the typhoid vaccine, we could give her an injection of a resilience enhancer before she leaves, so when she is held at gunpoint by looters or worse, she will be protected against developing depression or PTSD. It won’t prevent her from experiencing the stress, but it allows her to recover from it. That’s what’s revolutionary here. By increasing resiliency, we can dramatically reduce her susceptibility to depression and PTSD.”


While in a doctoral program at Columbia University, working with neurobiologist Christine Denny, Brachman studied the effects of giving mice an injection of ketamine, the drug known as special-K. When the mice were later put through a series of stressful situations, they were less depressed, less afraid, and more social than a control group. That effect lasted at least a month, long after the drug had left a mouse’s system.


Through her startup, Brachman is working on developing a related drug that could be used as a “resilience enhancer” to protect against depression.


“Preventative interventions, especially if they give a long lasting protection, have a much higher likelihood of making it to underserved communities,” she says. “That’s why when people go into Africa they bring vaccines. It’s easier to get governments to invest, and it’s easier to administer if it only needs to be done once.”


It’s possible that the drug, or a variation of it, could also be potentially be used to prevent addiction, OCD, bipolar disorder, or a variety of other mental illnesses.


“It’s a whole new field–preventative psychopharmacology,” Brachman says.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Yikes! I can't believe this! This woman wants to unleash a Special-K knockoff drug on us and she actually believes it can prevent addiction!!!!

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