33 million Americans were prescribed at least one psychiatric drug in 2004, up from 21 million in 1997.
The spending on antidepressants rose from $5.1 billion in 1997 to $13.5 billion in 2006; and on antipsychotics from $1.3 billion in 1997 to 11.5 billion in 2006.
The third best selling antidepressant, Lexapro, has been on the market only since 2002. But 15 million Americans have already taken it.
9 % of American teens have been prescribed drugs for depression.
The products are not limited to adults, not even to humans. In 2002, 11 million antidepressant prescriptions were written for American children and adolescents. Before 1990, outside of the occasional use of Ritalin, the medicating of kids was just about taboo. Clomicalm is approved by the FDA for separation anxiety for dogs. To increase appeal, Prozac and Paxil come in mint and orange flavored liquids, and Clomicalm is meat flavored. On Los Angeles veterinarian estimates that 5 percent of the cats and dogs in his practice are taking psychotropic agents for their behavior.
Zolofts American sales $3.1 Billion in 2005 exceeded those of Tide detergent that same year.
The worldwide sales of one drug for schizophrenia, Zyprexa, $4.7 billion in 2006, were greater than the revenue generated by the Levi Strauss Co.
-Comfortably Numb by Charles Barber