“Mother’s Little Anti-Psychotic Is Worth $6.9 Billion A Year”


In the Daily Beast, Jay Michaelson struggles to make sense of the fact that the antipsychotic Abilify is America’s top-selling drug, even while its medical method of action upon the brain is deemed to be “unknown.”

“From April 2013, through March 2014, sales of Abilify (official name, aripriprazole) totaled $6,885,243,368—that’s right, almost $6.9 billion. That’s more than all other major anti-depressants combined,” writes Michaelson. “And yet, the FDA says that the way Abilify works is ‘unknown.’ Unknown! As in, we have no idea why this medication seems to help people with bipolar disorder. But go ahead and try it anyway, since it seems to work somehow.”

Michaelson expresses shock that so many people might be taking Abilify and explores the marketing machinery of the pharmaceutical industry. He then suggests that people like himself who’ve experienced depression have “more subtle conclusions” and make their own choices based on “accepted theory,” such as that SSRI antidepressants are “enabling higher serotonin levels in the brain.”

Mother’s Little Anti-Psychotic Is Worth $6.9 Billion A Year (The Daily Best, November 9, 2014)