A Huffington Post news report examines the concerns of some sleep experts about the new insomnia treatment drug Belsomra.
By turning off the brain’s “awake” switch, Belsomra promotes sleep. And it’s hugely popular, thanks in no small part to a major advertising push, which includes print ads, TV commercials featuring fuzzy creatures, online content (whyamisoawake.com) and an app called Sleep Guru.
Doctors were writing an average of 4,000 prescriptions each week, just a month after Belsomra, which is manufactured by Merck, was approved by the FDA last August.
Sales of the drug have been so successful that British consulting firm GlobalData predicts Belsomra will be the highest-selling insomnia medication within the next eight years. A considerable achievement given that more than 42 million sleep aid prescriptions were filled out in the U.S. alone last year.