Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that Forest Laboratories' Lexapro and Pfizer's Prozac lead first-line therapy in the treatment of major depression. According to the new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Major Depression, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which include Lexapro and Prozac, account for 63.6 percent of patients on first-line therapy. Surveyed physicians indicate the reasons for SSRIs being so heavily used are efficacy, cost and physician familiarity. Eighty percent of surveyed psychiatrists and seventy percent of surveyed primary-care physicians (PCPs) said the reason why they chose SSRIs over benzodiazepines is efficacy. The major reason 49 percent of surveyed psychiatrists chose SSRIs over serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) is cost, while 49 percent of PCPs say they chose SSRIs over SNRIs owing to familiarity with the former class.

The report also finds that psychiatrists and PCPs do not all agree on what the most effective drugs are for treatment of major depression; therefore there is significant variation in the choice of agents, with no clear dominant player. Forty four percent of surveyed PCPs say SSRIs are more effective than SNRIs, but 72 percent of psychiatrists believe the opposite. Sixty two percent of surveyed PCPs think Lexapro's efficacy against depression is a major reason to choose it, but only 24 percent of surveyed psychiatrists agree.

"We project a significant increase in the use of SNRIs in first-line therapy in the next two years," said Michael Malecki, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "Forty five percent of surveyed psychiatrists and forty eight percent of surveyed PCPs say they will more frequently prescribe SNRIs in first line. We believe that generic forms of Wyeth's Effexor XR will help make SNRIs more cost effective, thus driving the use of this class in early therapy."

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 Algorithms Insight Series provides:

  -- Summary of U.S. 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 2-year forecast incorporating upcoming      launches, changes in reimbursement, etc.    About Decision Resources 

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

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, Inc.   781-296-2563   emarshall@dresources.com 

SOURCE: Decision Resources

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

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