I’ve asked this question before – but how does a drug such as Zyprexa, that was approved for the treatment of adults with schizophrenia, and a few years later, was approved for short-term treatment of adults with manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder, become such a HUGE selling medicine?
Despite its extremely limited original approved uses, Zyprexa has gone on to become the top selling antipsychotic worldwide with an estimated 20 million people having used the drug and Lilly’s best-selling product, with $4.2 billion in sales in 2005, which translates into 30% of its total revenues.
Maybe this article over at CL Pysch’s site can help us to understand.
“It is amazing what passes for evidence these days in psychiatry. A December article in the journal Current Psychiatry is titled “Antipsychotics for patients without psychosis? What clinical trials support”. It’s a doozy. The authors point out a positive feature of second generation antipsychotics (SGAs; Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify, Geodon). The sentence reads:
In schizophrenia patients, antipsychotics have been shown to improve psychotic and nonpsychotic symptoms [long list]…, insomnia, poor appetite, …
Sure, it might lead to diabetes, but enjoy your increased appetite in the meantime! Sure, you might feel entirely zonked out for much of the day, but that’s part of improving your insomnia. How’s that for spin?”