Science, Technology Offer ‘Unprecedented Opportunities’ To Address Global Mental Health

Devex: Opinion: 1 billion people suffer from anxiety. It’s time to invest in mental health.
Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, and Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer and worldwide chair for pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson

“…[T]he growing prevalence of mental illness, particularly in young people — combined with rising rates of Alzheimer’s and gaps in research and care — have the potential to create a global crisis. … Science and technology offer us unprecedented opportunities. To take advantage of the opportunities, we must work together to solve some key challenges. First is the need for an integrated approach, combining risk assessment and early diagnosis, disease interception, and treatment, as well as supportive interventions. Second, strong public-private partnerships between academia, biotech, industry, government, regulators, patient groups, and civic society are key to spur progress in areas that include detecting at-risk individuals, harnessing ‘big data’ and real-world evidence, developing innovative approaches to clinical trial design and drug development, as well as novel regulatory pathways to accelerate innovation. Finally, we must continue exploring innovative financing mechanisms to spur investment. … We are committed to focusing the world’s attention on this critical need and working together to revolutionize the way we think about, study, and approach the development of solutions so that we can change the trajectory of mental illness around the world” (1/26).

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