Mental Illness Medication Debate

February 6, 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 5
Should more patients have access to new drugs?
By Jane Tanner

Introduction

High-priced new psychosis medications have been developed for schizophrenia, major depression and other disabling mental illnesses.  (Corbis Images)
High-priced new psychosis medications have been developed for schizophrenia, major depression and other disabling mental illnesses. (Corbis Images)

Armed with new findings on the links between brain chemistry and mental illness, drug companies produced a new generation of drugs for schizophrenia, major depression and other severe psychiatric conditions. Most experts say up to 70 percent of the nation's 17.5 million adult sufferers could recover with access to the new drugs and strong social supports. Yet fewer than half receive any treatment, and the situation is eroding as cash-strapped states try to limit public subsidies for the higher-priced new drugs. Some say the new drugs often aren't worth the added costs, but others contend they are cheaper than the alternatives with older drugs — distressing risks and side-effects and more mentally ill people locked up in prison or homeless.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Mental Health
Mar. 13, 2015  Prisoners and Mental Illness
Dec. 05, 2014  Treating Schizophrenia
Sep. 12, 2014  Teen Suicide
May 10, 2013  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 03, 2012  Treating ADHD
Jun. 01, 2012  Traumatic Brain Injury
Jun. 26, 2009  Treating Depression
Feb. 13, 2004  Youth Suicide
Feb. 06, 2004  Mental Illness Medication Debate
Mar. 29, 2002  Mental Health Insurance
Feb. 08, 2002  Treating Anxiety
Jul. 16, 1999  Childhood Depression
Jun. 18, 1999  Boys' Emotional Needs
Sep. 12, 1997  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 19, 1994  Prozac
Aug. 06, 1993  Mental Illness
Oct. 09, 1992  Depression
Jun. 14, 1991  Teenage Suicide
Jul. 08, 1988  Biology Invades Psychology
Feb. 13, 1987  The Mentally Ill
Aug. 20, 1982  Mental Health Care Reappraisal
Jun. 12, 1981  Youth Suicide
Sep. 21, 1979  Mental Health Care
Sep. 15, 1978  Brain Research
Jul. 05, 1974  Psychomedicine
Aug. 08, 1973  Emotionally Disturbed Children
Dec. 27, 1972  Mental Depression
Mar. 24, 1972  Schizophrenia: Medical Enigma
Apr. 21, 1971  Approaches to Death
Mar. 03, 1971  Encounter Groups
Nov. 25, 1970  Psychological Counseling of Students
Feb. 19, 1969  Future of Psychiatry
Feb. 02, 1966  New Approaches to Mental Illness
Jan. 22, 1964  Insanity as a Defense
Sep. 25, 1963  Anatomy of Suicide
Nov. 20, 1957  Drugs and Mental Health
Apr. 23, 1954  Mental Health Programs
Jul. 09, 1948  Mental Health
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Medicaid and Medicare
Medicaid and Medicare
Mental Health
People with Mental Disabilities
Pharmaceuticals