Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global BioPharma company which develops medications to help patients combat a variety of serious diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, and psychiatric disorders. Otsuka Pharmaceutical developed Abilify but has agreed to allow Bristol-Myers Squibb to sell the popular anti-depressant in the United States until 2015.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has invested over $3.7 billion annually in research and development to produce medications to help patients struggling with a variety of different conditions. Areas of research include treatment for cardiovascular conditions, cancers, diabetes, and immunological disorders.
Bristol-Myers Squibb reports much of their success in medication and treatment has been the result of their “pioneering approach” and their focus on early- and mid-stage research. They have also aggressively made acquisitions, collaborations, alliances, and agreements which they argue have “helped balance their portfolio and build clusters of expertise in key therapeutic areas.” They also try to hire skilled workers, great scientists, and purchase potential products which can further their company’s goals.
Bristol-Myers Squibb markets and sells Abilify in the United States. Abilify is used to combat conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and is used in conjunction with other medications as an adjunctive treatment for major depression in adults. Anti-depressants have been shown to potentially increase suicidal thoughts or behaviors in some children, teenagers, and young adults.
Brand name drugs, like Abilify, are generating billion of dollars in annual sales each year. In fact, Bristol-Myers Squibb reached a deal with Japanese firm Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. to sell the popular antidepressant Abilify in the U.S. until 2015 when Abilify will lose U.S. patent protection.
In 1858 in New York City, Edward R. Squibb, M.D., had the vision to start a pharmaceutical company. In 1887 he joined with two of his friends, William McLaren Bristol and John Ripley Myers, and purchased a drug manufacturing firm in Clinton. These partners were able to grow their company into what has become an international pharmaceutical giant. Over the last 100 years Bristol-Myers Squibb has entered into a variety of collaborations with other companies to develop and commercialize a variety of new medical treatments. Today, Bristol-Myers Squibb remains one of the top biopharmaceutical companies in the country developing, marketing, and manufacturing a variety of different prescription medications.
Abilify is a partial dopamine agonist which impacts nerves in the brain which can be activated by dopamine. Unfortunately, because Abilify can control and regulate dopamine, if the chemical is not regulated correctly or if excessive levels of dopamine are generated, it can increase certain compulsive actions, such as gambling, excessive shopping, and overeating. Reports indicate some Abilify users have been negatively impacted by using Abilify and have developed compulsive behaviors while taking Abilify which have ceased when the drug use was discontinued.
Although Abilify can be effective at treating a wide variety of health conditions the FDA has warned that it also can have negative side-effects. Specifically, in 2004 the FDA required Bristol-Myers Squibb to add warning labels on Abilify to notify users of the increased risk of diabetes and hyperglycemia. Users were also warned in 2008 that antipsychotic drugs, including Abilify, could cause an increased risk of death if used by elderly patients with dementia. In 2007, warnings were also added to Abilify to notify users of the increased risk of suicide in patients under the age of 24. Finally, in 2011, pregnant women were notified that the use of Abilify could cause abnormal muscle movements and other symptoms in infants.