Jun 18, 2019

Concerns mount over depression drug Spravato as VA approval looms

A recently approved drug for treatment-resistant depression was branded as a wonder drug, but serious questions have been raised about its approval process, effectiveness and safety, the Center for Public Integrity reports.

Why it matters: "For veterans whose ranks are plagued by depression and suicides, much is at stake," CPI writes. "A drug that offers [a] fast and lasting answer for treatment-resistant depression would be a godsend. But is this drug the answer?"

What's new: A VA committee will decide this week whether to require that Spravato be available to VA pharmacies.

  • If it is, that could be a huge plus for Johnson & Johnson's marketing of the drug.

Flashback: President Trump took a personal interest in the drug, Spravato, thinking it would be great for the Veterans Affairs system, and reportedly wanted the agency to buy "truckloads" of the drug.

Go deeper: FDA approves fast-acting antidepressant nasal spray, esketamine

Go deeper