- Use of drugs to treat mental illness soars Nationwide, spending on psychiatric medications is now growing much faster than spending on other prescriptions as more mental health patients are treated with drugs rather than hospitalization, a new study has found.
Другие последствия пока не обсуждают. Этим видимо уже историки займутся. Вообще историки видимо играют для государств роль паталоанатомов иногда. Дают объяснения того что уже не имеет значения.
Update: В связи с поступившими комментариями, решил прочесть уже тогда и всю статью, а не только вышеприведенную к ней аннотацию. В сам деле ситуация сложнее, чем то могло бы показаться только из вынесенного на переднюю полосу подзаголовка. Возможно что тем, кого тема заинтересовала, будет любопытно посмотреть тогда уже и статью эту в целом. Выношу ее под кат, а здесь отмечу лишь что одну деталь:
- From 1991 to 2001, U.S. spending on all mental health services grew 73 percent, to $104 billion.
Use of drugs to treat mental illness soars
By Lisa Rapaport -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PST Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Sacramento campaign consultant Mark Capitolo credits a daily dose of anti-anxiety drugs with helping him stay "relatively sane" and out of the hospital during a difficult time in his life.
"The drugs are not going to make you happy. You are on your own in that regard. But they provide you physically with a safety net. I came around to the fact that it is no big deal to use that safety net," said Capitolo, who was first diagnosed with an anxiety disorder 15 years ago.
Nationwide, spending on psychiatric medications is now growing much faster than spending on other prescriptions as more mental health patients are treated with drugs rather than hospitalization, a new study has found.
From 1991 to 2001, U.S. spending on all mental health services grew 73 percent, to $104 billion. One-third of the $43 billion spending increase over the decade was due to outlays on retail prescription drugs for mental illness, according to the study, scheduled to be released today in Health Affairs, a health policy journal that publishes academic studies on medical finance issues.
Over the decade, spending on psychiatric prescriptions grew an average of 17.1 percent a year, while spending on hospitalization for mental illness increased by only 1 percent, according to the analysis of federal health statistics covering public and private insurance programs.
"We saw newer drugs with fewer side effects become more widely used," said one of the study authors, Joan Dilonardo, a researcher for the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which supported the survey. "There has been an increased acceptance of mental health medications and less stigma associated with seeking treatment."
Capitolo is one patient whose take on mental health medications changed with the advent of new drugs.
In 1990, he was a freshman at California State University, Sacramento, when, he said, "all of a sudden life in my head changed colors."
He started having panic attacks. His doctor prescribed desipramine, an older-generation anti-depressant that doctors now understand to be ineffective at treating anxiety.
"It was brutal. I felt like a zombie for two days. So I said 'screw this' and stopped taking it," Capitolo recalled.
Two years later, Capitolo got a prescription for Prozac, the first in a new generation of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Prozac and other SSRIs can treat a broad range of depression and anxiety disorders by boosting levels of serotonin in the brain.
'Capitolo said he might have been hospitalized last year, when both his parents died within a six-month period. Instead, medication and counseling saw him through that terrible year.
Today, SSRIs account for $11.2 billion a year in U.S. prescription sales, or nearly 5 percent of the $228 billion domestic prescription drug market, according to pharmaceutical research firm NDC Health.
In the Sacramento region, doctors credit newer drugs and improved outpatient mental health programs with reducing the need to hospitalize psychiatric patients. Increasingly, depression is treated with medications prescribed by primary care physicians.
Over the past decade, Kaiser Permanente has decreased spending on mental health hospital services to allocate more resources for outpatient care, said Andrea Hedin, chief of outpatient psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center.
Kaiser has tripled the size of its outpatient programs to treat depression, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Hedin said. At the same time, Kaiser has also developed an intensive outpatient therapy program to give five hours of counseling three days a week to many patients who once might have been hospitalized for treatment.
"We are finding better ways to treat people without keeping them overnight," Hedin says. "It saves money, and it also benefits patients and their families."
The study comes amid continuing debate over the effectiveness of prescription medications in treating mental health conditions. New analyses of clinical trials in children last year prompted the FDA to require a black box warning on labels that SSRI medications could increase the risk of suicide.
Many leading psychiatrists and groups such as the American Psychiatric Association defend the use of SSRIs in treating adults, particularly when paired with counseling.
Some patients, especially those who are suicidal or homicidal, will always need hospital care, said James Margolis, a psychiatrist at Sutter Health. But in some cases, newer drugs can lead to shorter hospital stays, he said.
"I would say there is still some stigma to seeking treatment for mental illness. But there is less stigma and there are better drugs," Margolis said. "More people are going to get the help they need without being hospitalized."