Pharma and the Psychiatrist
The world of pharmaceuticals
Medical practice and the pharmaceutical industry are closely connected. Pharmaceutical drug developers and the practicing psychiatrist are together instrumental in providing optimum care to the psychiatric patient. One writes the appropriate medicine and the other manufactures it and makes it available for use. The drug manufacturers and marketers need doctors for enhancing their knowledge on illnesses, while the practicing physician depends on the industry to discover, research and make available better drugs to enhance its efficacy and ensure superior quality of patient medical care.
Management of any psychiatric disorder involves medication as well as psychotherapy. The successive and continual discovery of all the three major classes of psychiatric drugs, namely antidepressants, anti psychotics, and anxiolytics, has been a breakthrough in the management of these conditions. Deviations in behavioral medicine can be explained by neurological and neurochemical activity in the brain; thus understandably can be treated by drugs that modify that activity. However, there are diverse neurobiological, genetic and environmental causes for all mental disorders. A varied etiology calls for diversity in treatment. Most clinical studies have repeatedly proved that combination therapy gives the best, quickest, and most long lasting results. The entire healthcare industry ought to join hands to work for the best outcomes for the patient.
Psychiatrist in pharmaceutical research
The search for better medications has been the target of pharmaceutical companies and the hope of psychiatrists to better the patient care and outcome. As most psychiatric disorders are heterogeneous and have significant overlap in their symptom expression, it does pose significant challenges in formulating newer compounds targeted to specific conditions. Nonetheless the field is rapidly growing and newer drugs for mental disorders are always in the pipeline. It takes several years of research and lengthy clinical drugs trials before a proposed medicine reaches the patient in the community. Clinical trials involve mental health personnel in protocol formation and implementation. A practicing psychiatrist can provide appropriate guidance to the research staff of drug companies carrying out these trials to enhance their understanding of the trial they (the company) are actually conducting.
Psychiatrist in pharmaceutical marketing
Pharmaceutical industries require professionals to train their sales staff on the particular disorder as well as the medication they provide for the same. This ensures the best possible transfer of information between the industry and the doctor. Here too, the practicing psychiatrist plays an important role in offering practical, hands on scientific information that facilitates a better rapport and transmits suitable communication of the same to the patient. The appropriate intent clubbed with the right action assures optimum results.