Depression remains both underdiagnosed and undertreated in the seven major pharmaceutical markets (United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Japan), due in large part to the social stigma associated with psychiatric illnesses. Depression, a new study from Decision Resources, Inc., examines recent trends in the treatment of depression, growing generic competition within this market, critical areas of unmet need, emerging therapeutic options, and how these factors will shape the depression market over a 2000-2010 study period.

  (Photo: )    Novel Agents Promise Improved Side-Effect Profiles 

Novel therapies that could enter the depression market by 2010 include 5HT agonists and/or antagonists, SSRI/5HT modulators, super neurotransmitter uptake blockers (SNUBs), substance P antagonists, and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) antagonists. Based on our current knowledge, we do not expect any of these agents to be considerably more effective than the currently available agents. We do, however, expect several of the newer agents to have fewer associated side effects than the currently available antidepressants, an attribute that physicians will readily embrace.

A Crowded Market with Room for Improvement

The emergence of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as new and improved treatments for depression in the 1990s heralded a new era in the drug treatment of depression. However, while these agents offer significant advantages over their predecessors (i.e., tricyclic antidepressants [TCAs]), important unmet needs remain. Only 60-70% of patients respond to currently available antidepressants. For those patients who do respond to drug therapy, up to 50% never achieve full remission; these patients, who suffer from residual symptoms, are at high risk for recurrence. Furthermore, current antidepressants take an average of two to three weeks to elicit a response -- this is of considerable concern to both physicians and patients, especially when the patient is entertaining thoughts of suicide. The paucity of any truly novel therapies in the pipeline that offer significant improvements over current drugs leaves the depression market wide open for agents that can fill these needs.

Depression offers invaluable market intelligence for pharmaceutical companies competing in this market, and is a part of Cognos, one of six Pharmacor services available from Decision Resources that evaluate the commercial potential of drugs in research and development.

Decision Resources, Inc., is a world leader in research publications and advisory services designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets. Founded as a subsidiary of Arthur D. Little, Inc., the company has provided strategic information services for 30 years, assessing international pharmaceutical and health care industry trends. Visit Decision Resources at

Contact Frank Sama, 781.296.2553 (tel), 781.296.2525 (fax), or

In Europe, contact Francoise Bidart, +32.2.351.4082 (tel), +32.2.351.2347 (fax), or

In Japan, contact Makiko Yoshimoto, +81.3.5401.2615 (tel), +81.3.5401.2617 (fax), or


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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

Contact: Frank Sama of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2553, or