Feeling Better: the Market for Psychiatric Psychoactives
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Over the course of the last 50 years, the pharmaceutical industry has become the most profitable industry in the world, primarily due to the explosive demand for psychiatric medication. The objective is to illustrate the scope of the psychiatric psychoactive market and determine the causes of demand. The history of psychiatric medicine serves to determine where demand initially sprouted from. Examination of the FDA approval process explains how the pharmaceutical industry maintains demand through the continual introduction of new medications, using patents to secure exclusive distribution rights. Clever and extensive marketing practices demonstrate the extent of pharmaceutical industry influence on the diagnosis of mental disorders. Initial widespread demand for psychiatric drugs comes from a fascinated public, looking for something to ease their nerves. The pharmaceutical industry took the opportunity to market psychiatric medications to the general public. By exerting influence on the Food and Drug Association and securing exclusive patents, they have managed to maintain monopoly pricing through continual introduction of new brand-name drug formulations. These drugs are extensively marketed to the medical community using clever methods, such as commissioning influential psychiatrists to sign their name to ghostwritten articles shining a positive light on new medications. After being accepted in the medical community, the number of diagnoses skyrocket for the disorder treated by the new drug. Persuasive advertising has also assisted in convincing large portions of the populace that they are in need of drug treatment. These circumstances have caused the United States to become the most-drugged nation in the world.