Don’t Worry, Be Happy



Every now and then something makes one think.

The spinning molecule in the GIF is Prozac.  One of the main uses of Prozac is as a treatment for depression.  It is a multi-billion dollar product for Eli Lilly.  Prozac was a research product that was patented and exclusive to them until 2001.  Now there are a number of generic versions also.  In 2010 there were 24 million prescriptions for Fluoxetine (the chemical name of Prozac) in the US and another 6 million prescriptions in the UK.  It is no exaggeration to say that there is an entire slice of the pharmaceutical industry that is devoted to the research, manufacture, and sales of this molecule.

This year a neat paper was published that compared the major component of the spice Tumeric to Prozac as a treatment for depression: .  It found that they were equally effective – although the side effects of suicidal ideation or psychiatric disorder associated with Prozac were missing for the spice.

Isn’t it interesting that this comparison didn’t happen until the Fluoxetine industry was permanently established as a cornerstone of the pharmaceutical complex?  Imagine  if the same study was done in 1974.

It makes you think.

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