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Despite enormous progress in defining, diagnosing and treating mental disorders, physicians face a challenge in responding to “unmet need”. Advancing science and developing new innovative drugs are the key components in responding to this challenge.

The development of new drugs for neuropsychiatric disorders has the potential to provide patients with significant improvements in quality of life, and to reduce the future economic burden on health-care systems.  Because the approval of CNS drugs with novel mechanisms of action has been rare in recent years, there is the need to ameliorate the R&D process in this field. Focusing on treatments that target disease pathophysiology will improve the chances of developing therapies that go beyond current symptomatic therapies.

Indeed, the identification of new molecular targets involved in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders represents the essential step for the design of new and efficacious drugs able to modify the clinical course of these disorders. Developing more predictive animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders is another key factor for the selection of drug candidates.

Advances in understanding brain processes, identifying biomarkers and neuro-imaging techniques also promise far more effective ‘diagnostic-therapeutic’ treatments and improved patient outcomes in the future.

According to this scenario, the object of the IUPHAR Neuropsychopharmacology Section is to encourage international co-operation in preclinical and clinical Neuropsychopharmacology by:

  • Supporting exchange of Neuropsychopharmacology knowledge;
  • Developing more predictive animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders;
  • Evaluating the clinical impact of new drugs for mental illnesses;
  • Stimulating research in preclinical and clinical Neuropsychopharmacology world-wide;
  • Promoting high scientific and ethical standards in preclinical and clinical research in the field of Neuropsychopharmacology;
  • Improving the classification of psychotropic drugs to incorporate up-to-date knowledge in Neuroscience;
  • Promoting high ethical standards in prescription and utilization of psychotropic drugs.

For more information about the IUPHAR Neuropsychopharmacology Section, please email
If you have registered in myIUPHAR under the Members tab then you may join the Neuropsychopharmacology Discussion Group.