Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that an astonishing 52.3 percent of newly diagnosed bipolar disorder patients are prescribed antidepressant drugs first line. The new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Bipolar Disorder finds that this high preponderance of early-line antidepressant use stems from primary care physician prescribing. Surveyed primary care physicians specify selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (including Forest Laboratories' Lexapro) as a favored first-line treatment choice for patients with bipolar disorder I with acute depression (51 percent of surveyed physicians), bipolar disorder II with acute depression without hypomania (52 percent of surveyed physicians) and bipolar disorder II with acute depression with hypomania (46 percent of surveyed physicians).

"The number of primary care physicians who are diagnosing and treating bipolar patients has been on the rise in the past few years, but surveyed primary care physicians follow a very different treatment pattern than surveyed psychiatrists," said Madhuri Borde, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "Nearly half of the patients taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors first line receive these drugs as a monotherapy, despite guideline recommendations to give bipolar patients presenting with depression an antimanic first line."

The report also finds that GlaxoSmithKline's Lamictal is the leading single-agent in first-, second- and third-line therapy amassing 18 percent, 13.8 percent and 16.3 percent patient share in each line of therapy, respectively. Lamictal's accumulation of patient share in early lines of therapy is driven by psychiatrists' belief that this therapy is effective for patients with bipolar depression.

The majority of surveyed psychiatrists prefer Lamictal for first-line treatment of patients with bipolar disorder I with acute depression (59 percent of surveyed psychiatrists) and bipolar disorder II with acute depression and no hypomania (61 percent of surveyed psychiatrists). Lamictal and Abbott's Depakote ER are frequently prescribed first line by surveyed psychiatrists for bipolar disorder II patients who present with acute depression and hypomania (45 percent and 32 percent of surveyed psychiatrists, respectively).

About Treatment Algorithm Insight Series

Decision Resources combines in-depth primary research with the most extensive claims-based longitudinal patient-level data from PharMetrics® to provide exceptional insight into physicians' prescribing trends and the factors that drive therapy product choice, from diagnosis through multiple courses of treatment, for a specific disease.

For each disease examined, Decision Resources' Treatment Algorithm Insight Series provides the following:

  -- Summary of United States medical practice based on interviews with      leading experts in the field   -- Qualitative diagnosis/referral/treatment algorithm for the United      States   -- Drug usage by lines of therapy (1st, 2nd, 3rd line)   -- Discussion of key freeform combinations by lines of therapy   -- Product share (class and specific compound level) within each line of      therapy (1st, 2nd, 3rd line)   -- Progression of therapy from key 1st line products   -- Pathway to key therapies from previous therapies   -- Qualitative analysis of two-year forecast incorporating upcoming      launches, changes in reimbursement, etc.     About Decision Resources 

Decision Resources (http://www.decisionresources.com/) is a world leader in market research publications, advisory services and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources and master their chosen markets. Decision Resources is a Decision Resources, Inc. company.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:    Elizabeth Marshall   Decision Resources   781-296-2563   emarshall@dresources.com 

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SOURCE: Decision Resources

Contact: Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2563,
emarshall@dresources.com

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