For the past 60 years, understanding the aetiology of schizophrenia has been one of the thornier questions in neuroscience and neuropsychiatry. There's a lot of nuance and a lot of heterogeneity. It's easy to end up drowning a bit in what can be a contradictory literature.
But these complexities should only accentuate the importance of schizophrenia research. So why, then, is the annual rate of schizophrenia treatment clinical trials falling, especially when the total number of clinical trials is generally on the rise? Certainly, this question has its own fair share of nuance—but hopefully we're not running out of ideas.
I'll toss out one potential explanation: a deincentivized pharmaceutical industry. This downward trend is the same one we're observing with respect to antibiotics. The threat of antimicrobial resistance scares off plenty of investors. Is there an analogue for schizophrenia research?
In 2012, researchers at the London School of Economics estimated that schizophrenia costs England more than £11.8 billion (US$19.7 billion) each year — nearly £76,00 for each person afflicted. ... For the past ten years, clinical trials of schizophrenia treatments have been on a downward trajectory, even though clinical trials in general have been rising.