Robert Lenox quoted in Psychiatric Times story on the difficulties of psychiatric drug development

October 08, 2013

Robert H. Lenox, M.D., UNE professor of pharmacology and clinical neuroscience, was quoted at length in an Oct. 7th Psychiatric Times story titled "Psychiatric Drug Pipeline."

The Psychiatric Times story is a commentary on a recent New York Times column by Richard Friedman, M.D., who had lamented the lack of novel new drugs to treat psychiatric disorders. He put the blame on big pharmaceutical companies.

The Psychiatric Times quotes Lenox from a lecture he gave at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting in San Francisco. Lenox discussed the cost of developing psychotherapeutic drugs and the high failure rate of those drugs during clinical trials.

Lenox explained that psychiatric diseases are chronic and recurrent and have a complex etiology. These disorders “are neurodevelopmental and particularly vulnerable to the environmental factors,” Lenox said. “While there may be some understanding of the physiological dysfunction leading to symptoms, and we have had some success in symptomatic treatments, such as psychosis, we have very little understanding of the underlying disease process. Furthermore, we have very few animal models that have the validity to predict clinical efficacy.” Read the entire story.