A member asked:

Why is abilify (aripiprazole) a $6+billion per year #1 blockbuster drug? is it worth $25 each for the lowest strength pill? and why so heavily used?

17 doctors weighed in across 2 answers
Dr. Patrick Tapia answered

Specializes in Psychiatry

Healthcare economics: As the extent that insurance companies want to pay for physician encounters decreases and the pressure increases to start a medicine that does "something" beneficial in the context of the limited number of patient encounters the allure of a "gentle" atypical antipsychotic is apparently too much to resist. It is perhaps not driven by rationality or objectivity, rather a kind of defensiveness.

Answered 10/6/2017


Dr. Donald Jacobson answered

Specializes in

Depression disabilit: Depression is one of the most disabling conditions there is. The total economic loss due to loss of productivity, loss of life, work disability, and presenteeism is virtually impossible to establish. Once a person goes on disability from depression which happens in approximately 50% of major depression recurrent cases, it is very difficult to ever get them off of the disability rolls. Having treated over 200 people with Abilify (aripiprazole) and having the great pleasure of watching them stabilize, normalize, going to full remission, and return to work has been nothing short of amazing andsomething that i never expected to see during my career working with particularly depressed individuals.While the cost is high, the company is generous in samples, it's co-pay cards, and it's patient assistance programs.I have had the pleasure of watching Abilify (aripiprazole) prevent marital breakup, child abuse, verbal and physical abuse, and a tremendous number of hospitalizations. It is on this basisthat i feel it's cost is justified.Having previously suffered subdural hematoma, i don't know that i would've been able to rehabilitate to return to work without the addition of Abilify (aripiprazole) to my medication regimen. It has also saved lives of several very close friends and relatives as well. It's contribution should not be underestimated.

Answered 11/27/2017



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