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More Than 300 New Medicines Being Developed for Mental Illnesses
Date:7/24/2008

NEW ORLEANS, July 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- There are a record 301 new medicines being developed for mental illnesses, according to a new report released here today during a briefing that focused on the devastating effects that mental illnesses have on patients, their families, and society. Nationwide, mental illness affects nearly 60 million American adults. The briefing, led by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), featured Emmy Award-winning actor Joey Pantoliano -- well known for his role in The Sopranos -- who suffers from depression.

In Louisiana, rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide have increased since hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Mental disorders after a natural disaster usually decrease with time, with about 50 percent of post-traumatic mental disorders resolved within a year of the disaster, notes a recent Harvard University study. However, in the case of Hurricane Katrina, the researchers found the contrary: Anxiety or mood disorder has been increasing by 30 percent and more.

"We are releasing this report in Louisiana in view of the upcoming third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the state's continuing need for assistance in treating mental illness," said PhRMA Senior Vice President Ken Johnson. "The medicines being developed treat a range of conditions, from depression to anxiety, and from schizophrenia to dependence on alcohol and drugs. These medicines are either in clinical trials or awaiting review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and they will help patients live longer, happier, and healthier lives. It's important for patients and healthcare providers to know that research into mental illness remains a top priority."

Many of these diseases, such as depression, were once misunderstood causes of shame and fear. Fortunately, today many are highly treatable conditions.

Unfortunately, despite the tremendous pr
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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
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