Why I am fucking enraged that I saw a commercial for ABILIFY in a doctor’s office last week

1. The commercial urged consumers who were already on antidepressants to ask their doctor about Abilify. Basically: “Is your antidepressant not working fast or well enough? Ask your doctor about ABILIFY!!!!!”

***EDIT*** Here is the actual commercial I saw on the waiting room TV.

2. Abilify is a dangerous and serious antipsychotic mostly used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and psychotic depression. They also like to use it “to control irritability and violent behavior in Autistic children who are at least 6 years old.” As an Autistic adult, I find this fucking disturbing.

3. The side effects of Abilify include: heart failure, sudden death, pneumonia, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), dehydration and heat exhaustion, significant weight gain (50 or more pounds), and tardive dyskinesia (uncontrollable muscle movements) that can become PERMANENT. That’s not all of them, those are just the worst ones.

4. The reason they’re trying to promote Abilfy so hard and SPECIFICALLY for conditions that PROBABLY DO NOT WARRANT IT, is because their patent is ABOUT TO EXPIRE and despite the fact that they have been able to keep extending it since it was first patented in 2002, Otsuka holdings/Bristol Meyers Squibb co. stands to lose 13% of their total revenue, a.k.a. 2.76 BILLION DOLLARS if generic Abilify becomes available. So they are promoting the shit out of it as a “antidepressant enhancer”.

5. My ex (who I was with for 11 years) was schizophrenic, and Abilify was one of the medications they tried. The tardive dyskinesia and weight gain started right away and the medication was changed. A lot of the time, psychiatrists will NOT tell you about side effects. I have been put on medications that caused disassociation, vertigo so bad I ended up in the ER and on meds to control the vertigo, ones that made my teeth fall out, erratic behavior and lack of impulse control, and an endless host of other problems. I wasn’t warned about most of them. A lot of them were for conditions I didn’t even HAVE.

I’m not saying that Abilify is bad.

Is it better than Haldol and/or Thorazine? Almost certainly. Should it be an option for people who need those options? OF COURSE. YES. DEFINITELY.

DO YOU KNOW WOULD WOULD BE HELPFUL TO THOSE PEOPLE? HAVE A GENERIC ALTERNATIVE TO A DRUG THAT COSTS ABOUT 700 DOLLARS FOR A MONTH’S SUPPLY.

700 FUCKING DOLLARS

700

FUCKING

DOLLARS

A

MONTH.

And the people who most need Abilify are the least likely to BE ABLE TO PAY FOR IT.

America.