Monday, November 19, 2007

Luvox CR and All That (Yawn) Jazz

Jazz Pharmaceuticals is running two-page spreads in the psychiatric journals advertising...well, it's hard to figure out what. The headline reads: "Anxiety disorders often present first, before other comorbid conditions." Then there are two blurbs, one about social anxiety disorder (SAD), and the other about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). No drug is mentioned.

So you have to google Jazz Pharmaceuticals and social anxiety disorder to find out that Jazz bought the rights from Solvay to market a "new" product, Luvox CR. According to press releases, it is close to FDA-approval for both SAD and OCD and will be released sometime in the first quarter of 2008. What a bummer--not that we have to wait, but that it is being foisted on us at all.

Luvox is another SSRI, and actually the first ever used by psychiatrists, having been approved in 1984 for the treatment of OCD. It has very little going for it. Its half-life is about 15 hours, and it causes more drug-drug interactions than any other SSRI. Before, Luvox was a pretty useless drug; come next year, we'll have a pretty useless drug that lasts even longer than the original.

Jazz Pharmaceutical's advertising slogan is "Innovation that performs." With Luvox CR, there's precious little innovation, and the only performance is a level of marketing chutzpah that is guaranteed to turn off prescribers.

1 comment:

Stephany said...

Regardless of what the pychiatric field believes; Luvox was the beginning of the nightmare for my daughter--at age 11, the Summer it was released back into the market after the Spring 1999 Columbine Shootings,[removed due to obvious lawsuit reasons];this is where I take the road less paved... my daughter has severe adverse [suicidal/homicidal thoughts]reaction to ALL meds remotely resembling an anti depressant; including BuSpar and others. Sorry for the rant, but I hope parent/consumer comments might help others understand. I see Luvox in an entirely different and life changing way. Patent extensions are not a good thing. Except for the company that needs the bucks.
As usual, thanks for this blog and your honest writing here, I appreciate it very much.