Nearly one in five American adults experience some form of mental illness in any given year. In addition, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 20 percent of children ages 13 to 18 in the United States either currently or at some point had a mental illness.

As science continues to advance, America’s biopharmaceutical companies are working to develop medicines that help reduce these diseases into manageable conditions. Researchers are studying biomarkers and the ways current medicines impact the pathology and workings of the brain. This research has helped produce 145 medicines that are in development to help the more than 40 million Americans living with a mental illness. These potential treatments could help manage symptoms of schizophrenia, anxiety-disorders, attention-deficit disorders, substance abuse and depression.

This work is also impacting patients who suffer from addiction, which is classified as a mental illness due to the fundamental changes that occur in the brain that disrupt the ability to control impulses in patients struggling with addiction.

Nearly 29 million Americans aged 12 and older—or 10.6 percent of the U.S. population—have reported using an illicit drug in the past month. Recognizing the substantial unmet need, America’s biopharmaceutical companies are engaging with the National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Drug Abuse to advance a potential public-private partnership that will accelerate the development of new medications to treat opioid use disorders. Additionally, right now, there are 40 medicines in development that could potentially treat substance abuse and addiction.

Mental illness is both costly and prevalent, but biopharmaceutical company researchers are working to make it history.

Research has revolutionized our understanding of mental illnesses, but new medications are urgently needed to better treat mental illness.

For additional information about the important work being done in the field of mental health, please visit our recent Medicines in Development: Mental Illness Report.