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Increased funding and research could help address unmet mental health needs

Published on 10/10/18 at 11:29am

Unmet needs relating to mental health could be met through increasing funding and research, according to data analytics firm GlobalData.

A number of GlobalData reports including PharmaPoint: Schizophrenia and PharmaPoint: Major Depressive Disorder, suggest that safer and more effective treatments for mental health problems could be developed through added funding for research and development. The call has come on World Mental Health Day, a day focused towards tackling social stigma surrounding mental health.

Rahael Maladwala, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, commented, “Mental health has a huge social and economic burden on patients, with one in six adults reported to have a common mental health disorder. Over the last decade, there have been several outreach and educational programs that have helped to reduce the stigma surrounding these disorders and patients are now receiving more adequate care, however, there is still more that can be done. Pharmaceutical companies are now seeing these gaps in the market and commissioning research into the etiology and pathophysiology of these indications to better understand how they work and developing drugs that target the root cause of these diseases.”

Global data noted that there is still a long way to go before gaps in the market are properly addressed.

Maladwala continued: “Clinical research is not the only trend that is being used to address the gaps in the market; this is where the creativity of pharmaceutical companies comes into play. There have been several digital approaches that are being trialled to help meet some of the unmet needs for some of these indications; examples of this include Otsuka’s use of a digital sensor in a pill used for schizophrenia treatment to improve compliance, Takeda and Cognition Kits have partnered to develop an app synced to a piece of wearable technology which monitors MDD patients, and several companies are using artificial intelligence to help identify potential drug targets for these disorders. The use of technology is helping to revolutionise patient care, right from drug discovery to drug delivery”

Louis Goss

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