Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and health care issues, finds that patent expiries of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) will significantly limit growth in the major depression drug market. According to the new Pharmacor study entitled Major Depression, SSRI sales in the United States, the largest market for psychiatric drugs, will drop sharply over the next ten years because of loss of patent protection. Sales lost by SSRIs will be offset in part by the launch of new drug classes such as the triple-reuptake inhibitors.
The study also finds that the major depression population is underdiagnosed, undertreated or incorrectly treated, and noncompliant with treatment. Primary care providers (PCPs) and general practitioners (GPs) are becoming more knowledgeable about symptoms and treatment, but experts believe that many patients still fall through the cracks.
"Because this market is PCP/GP-driven, only 10-20% of all major depression patients are diagnosed and treated by specialists," said Anathea Waitekus, analyst at Decision Resources. "Patient noncompliance significantly inhibits sales growth in the antidepressant market as well. Patients often have unrealistic expectations and do not expect to wait up to four weeks for therapy to take full effect, nor are they well prepared for possible side effects, including sexual dysfunction, weight gain, and gastrointestinal distress. All these factors lead to early discontinuation of antidepressant therapy."
About Major Depression
In 2002, in the seven major pharmaceutical markets (United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and Japan) approximately 38 million people suffered from major depression. Five to twelve percent of the population aged 15 or older experiences at least one episode of major depression per year.
About Decision Resources
Decision Resources, Inc., (www.decisionresources.com) is a world leader in research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets.
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