Managed Care

Antidepressant pipeline far from depressed

Many currently marketed antidepressants will be falling off the patent cliff soon. Nonetheless, the antidepressant market is set for steady expansion, according to Datamonitor, a drug information company.

The company compiled data from seven major markets for this drug category and found total sales to be $10.9 billion in 2010. By 2020, the market is forecast to grow to $14 billion in the seven markets: the United States, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Datamonitor expects the launch of eight new drugs in the United States and predicts total sales for these agents in the pipeline to reach $5.9 billion in 2020, or 41.9 percent of the antidepressant market.

Scheduled patent expirations and new antidepressants

“Market and Product Forecasts: Depression,” Datamonitor’s report, says that 39 percent of patients with depression are prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). That’s followed by the serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) at 26.8 percent. Atypical antipsychotics account for 5.8 percent and tranquilizers, 2.1 percent.

The report notes that physicians tend to be very willing to prescribe more than one drug for depression, so combination therapy is quite common.

Source: Market and Product Forecasts: Depression. Pipeline to rejuvenate the saturated market. Datamonitor, September 2011.

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