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$10bn of antipsychotic drugs wrongly prescribed every year

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People suffering from a range of problems – from autism, depression, and dementia – have been wrongly prescribed a class of drugs for more than 20 years that do more harm than good.
Atypical antipsychotics – which include Seroquel (quetiapine), Abilify (aripoprazole) and Risperdal (risperidone) – cause weight gain, diabetes and heart disease, and yet do nothing to help the patient, say researchers.
The drugs came on the market in 1989 to treat schizophrenia, but were soon being used for a range of other problems, such as autism, bipolar disorder, delirium, dementia, depression and personality disorders. As a result, sales of the atypicals reached $10 billion in 2008, which represented 5 per cent of drug expenditure in the USA.
However, the drugs have been the subject of more lawsuits than any other drug family, and payments to patients and their families harmed by the drugs has reached more than $100 million, say researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine.
(Source: Stanford University Medical Center, January 7, 2011).

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