By Ralph Tarantino, PhD
Pharmaceutical Consultant and Principal, SteriTech Solutions, LLCMiddletown, NJ
A recent analysis of the CDC’s National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys (Health Aff. 2011;30:1434) showed that 4 out of 5 prescribers of antidepressants are not psychiatrists. Alarmed? You should be.
White, female patients over the age of 50 with some form of health coverage are the usual recipients of this treatment. Frequently, they have other chronic illnesses, and for many no true diagnosis of depression exists. As a culture we have been bombarded with the warning that “depression is a serious medical condition”; it’s a warning that should be heeded. The costs of depression with regard to human life, the health care system, and the economy in general are enormous.