White Paper -Dan Primavera

1. I have multiple family members who are prescribed to the anti-depressant called Prozac and was automatically attracted to this topic. The fact that a prescription drug meant to help ANY person suffering from depression is considered a “white drug” is pretty sickening to me. I believe that anybody in need of such medical help is deserving of a prescription to this highly affective anti-depressant, and most would agree that this is wrong.

2. While there are definitely racism factors that definitely influence Prozac being considered a white drug, there are also some in-avoidable factors that cause this to occur. One of these factors that cannot be avoided is the fact that many people cannot afford health insurance plans that can support the cost of this prescription drug (this can be the case for any race but specifically those who are non-white and impoverished). Also because of this fact, much of these persons whose health insurance will not cover getting prozac are still able to get a generic form of anti-depressant. Although these people are getting a similar drug to prozac (although generic brand), they are still not included into the percentage of persons who receive prozac which highly affects the amount of those non-white depressed people who do not get prozac.

3. Prozac is considered to be the top of the line anti-depressant seeing that “more than 33 million people in the United States are prescribed to this drug every year and the number of people prescribed to it seems to climb every year” and that it has “boomed into a billion dollar industry,” but this does not mean that these generic brand anti-depressants can not do the same job and just as affective. But, being that prozac is the most well known drug to treat depression, many would believe that they are being “short changed” when receiving the generic brand instead. Also the fact that prozac is mostly prescribed to white people should definitely raise eyebrows as to the question of whether or not our doctors are racist and not giving minority groups the proper treatment.

4. There are multiple topics that I could develop into smaller papers and aid into my search of this counter-intuitive subject, some examples of this are:

  • racist physicians
  • a pharmaceutical companies stance on the topic (my father works for one)
  • a view point from a minority group affected by this (my adopted cousin is black and I actually think she may be prescribed to a generic brand anti-depressant)
  • health insurance factors that may factor into a persons receiving of a generic form of prozac
  • generic prozac’s effectiveness against depression compared to actual prozac

5. This is just a rough outline for how I could carry out my research into why prozac is a “white drug” but one thing I need to do is find some good studies on why this is happening and what the major factors of this happening are.

5 Annotated Sources

1. “Prozac Uses” (http://depression.emedtv.com/prozac/prozac-uses.html)

This source gives a lot of helpful information on my drug in question, Prozac. It lays out all of the uses for Prozac which of course includes the treatment of depression, but also panic disorder (frequent panic attacks), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and bulimia. The source also maps out some less frequent uses for the drug which includes treatment of OCD in children (its’ only approved treatment type for children), and cases of premature ejaculation.

With this source my intention was to just purely show the medical reasons or conditions to be prescribed to Prozac. I feel as if this source would aid me in my argument because all of these conditions are not things that could happen to a white person only, rather all races. This will be a helpful aid because of its’ extensive medical info that I can include in my paper.

2. “Generic Prozac” (http://depression.emedtv.com/prozac/generic-prozac.html)

This is a source that is very informative on generic prozacs, which are the more commonly prescribed prozac form given to minority groups with the conditions that should qualify them for prozac. This source provides the uses for generic prozac types, which are all the same conditions needed to be prescribed the name brand prozac.

I think that this source will be very helpful in my argument because of the fact that both name brand prozac, and generic brand prozac both require the same medical conditions to be prescribed to an individual, yet minority groups are typically prescribed to the generic forms.

3. “Price Factor” (http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/23/5/210.full)

This source is an extremely helpful article posted on the demographics surrounding prozac. There are many helpful points made in this article including who benefited from the creation of generic brand prozac and the cost effectiveness between name brand prozac compared to the generics.

I will definitely make great use of this source because of its’ very specific facts surrounding prozacs’ demographics. This will aid in my argument as sort of a counter-argument because of how it lays out the way prices fluctuated between generic brand and the actual prozac, which may be helpful in countering my argument because maybe those who are prescribed the generic brand are given this because of their money/insurance situation.

4. “What’s race got to do with it” (http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/04/prescription-antidepressants-race-ethnicity-health-insurance)

This source is extremely helpful in providing information on many different factors that go into why prozac is typically prescribed to white people. Also this source provides the reader with many different studies that can be referenced on the problem that goes along with prozacs’ prescribing trends.

I will be able to use this source for a couple different reasons. I can firstly use it for its’ very informative information into why prozac seems to be (mostly) prescribed to only white people. Another way I will be able to utilize this source is because from this article, I get multiple different university studies on this topic in which I can research and then also reference.

5. “Race and Medicaid factors for prozac” (http://www.thevigilantmom.com/2012/04/study-race-and-medicaid-is-a-factor-in-whos-prescribed-antidepressants/)

This article is very informative on the race factor of prozac being a “white drug,” but also the insurance side of the argument. The article references a University of Michigan study on the topic as well.

I am going to use this article to aid in my argument in two different ways. Firstly I am going to use the race statistics that it provides, but also the health insurance side to the argument on who and why prozac or generic brands are prescribed, which has been a harder topic of this argument to find.

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This entry was posted in A09: My White Paper, Dan Primavera and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to White Paper -Dan Primavera

  1. davidbdale says:

    Thanks for your note, Dan. I’m temporarily unable to respond to email., but I see you were able to categorize your post and add bullets to #4.

  2. davidbdale says:

    Hey, Dan, first of all, I’m glad you’ve chosen a topic in which you have a personal stake. It will keep you engaged in the work to know you’re researching something meaningful and important. It might also slant your thinking, though, so be careful to remain objective.

    Language note. In a sentence like this one, readers will always be unclear about what exactly “is wrong”:

    I believe that anybody in need of such medical help is deserving of a prescription to this highly affective anti-depressant, and most would agree that this is wrong.

    2. Please forgive me Dan if I paraphrase your entire paragraph with this one sentence:

    Expensive name-brand Prozac is prescribed more often to white patients because they are statistically better insured while non-whites get generics.

    3. Does 33 million patients make Prozac “top of the line,” or just extremely popular, Dan? Which side are you arguing here? Are the generics just as good? If so, the doctors do their patients a favor when they prescribe the cheapest drug that does the job.

    4. I agree, this is a strong menu of subtopics all worthy of investigation.

    5. Well, maybe you first need to prove that it is happening. If 33 million people take Prozac, how many does that leave to be taking generics?

  3. justinbaker2007 says:

    Hey Dan, love your topic. I do have one question though. Where is proof that physicians are racist? What facts can you use to back that up? If you can find statistics, although it may be difficult, answering that can really help your topic and add to your argument.

  4. primav01 says:

    Hey Professor Hodges,
    I have included my annotated sources and believe my white paper is ready for grading.

    Thanks,
    -Dan

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