PROZAC: Reign as Top Depression Drug Ends
After a decade as the fastest-selling prescription drug for mental illness, Prozac has been overtaken by a competitor. In January, physicians wrote more new prescriptions for Zoloft than for the drug that -- long before Viagra -- "became a metaphor for society's obsession with quick fixes." Prozac is credited with easing the stigma of mental illness and encouraging more people to seek treatment, although it has also faced intense criticism from opponents, including some physicians. Experts attribute Prozac's declining market share to the introduction of newer antidepressants that promise fewer side effects and greater effectiveness over a wider variety of conditions, and predict the decline will continue across the next three years as generic forms of the drug become available. Although it still retains a slight lead over Zoloft in total prescriptions, "Prozac has had its day, or more accurately, had its decade," one industry analyst said (Galewitz, Associated Press, 3/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.