A $5 Billion dollar settlement, one of the largest in US history, has been paid out by pharmaceutical companies for marketing anti-psychotic drugs, in cases when they were not proven safe or effective. In some instances these drugs have caused death.
Known as "atypical" or "second-generation" antipsychotics, drugs such as Geodon, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Abilify and Risperdal, have been used effectively to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These drugs are the biggest selling drugs in America, and 56 million prescriptions have been filled for these drugs in 2010 alone. However, children and teens suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and ADHD, have also been prescribed these drugs, and the effect is the opposite of what effective medicines for these drugs does. Rather than raising dopamine levels, which is the effect of ADHD and PTSD medicines, these antipsychotic medications inhibit dopamine levels. Dr. Bruce Perry of the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston said, "The obvious second-generation bias is very apparent in these data, as is the irrational use of antipsychotics for indications such as PTSD and ADHD for which there is no controlled evidence whatsoever that these are safe or effective treatments."
The patents on most of the wrongly prescribed, but highly marketed, drugs will be expiring in the next few years, which is a good sign that the marketing pressures will subside and these drugs will only be used for their intended purposes.