The government makes a new policy change for public safety.
The Federal Aviation Administration changes an ancient policy of stopping pilots from taking anti-depressants.
The old policy was in place, partly, due to fear over the effects of taking the medications.
“We need to change the culture and remove the stigma associated with depression,” said Randy Babbitt, Federal Aviation Administrator.
The new policy is to make safety better by encouraging pilots to seek medical attention, or admit using medications without worrying about losing licenses.
Pilots who have productive results through treatment, for 12 months, will be permitted to fly. The agency is looking into giving waivers to pilots on Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac Celexa- as well as the generic brands. Health experts back the decision. They confirm that ignoring depression collides with job accomplishment. They advise that the pilots should be quietly monitored.
The Federal Aviation Administration will post it on the Federal Register, and the public is free to comment until May 3, 2010.