Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and health care issues, estimates that sales of drugs to treat minor depression exceeded $2 billion in 2003, despite a lack of approved diagnostic criteria, no formal regulatory approval of antidepressants' use in the indication, and virtually no effort on the part of drug makers to cultivate this market.
The new Pharmacor study entitled Minor Depression also finds that patients with minor depression are more sensitive to treatment-related side effects -- including sexual dysfunction -- than patients treated for major depression.
"Physicians often use a bupropion/SSRI or bupropion/SNRI combination to help alleviate sexual side effects, and they also use other alternative therapy methods such as dose reduction or drug holidays," said Anathea Waitekus, analyst at Decision Resources. "Patients treated by primary care physicians unfamiliar with the use of such techniques might forgo drug therapy if they cannot tolerate sexual side effects. Additionally, physicians would prefer to prescribe an agent that lacks sexual side effects altogether rather than resorting to the use of alternative methods."
Growing Minor Depression Population
The prevalent population of minor depression is twice the size of the prevalent major depression population. Despite the large percentage of sufferers who were untreated in 2003, the number of drug-treated cases of minor depression, at 30 million, is one of the largest drug-treated populations among all indications of interest to the pharmaceutical industry. The drug-treated population will grow at a relatively fast rate, reaching 40 million individuals by 2013.
About Pharmacor from Decision Resources
Pharmacor is a unique family of studies that assesses a host of market- impacting factors and analyzes the commercial outlook for drugs in research and development.
About Decision Resources
Decision Resources, Inc., (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.
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SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.
CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, Inc., +1-781-296-
Web site: http://www.decisionresources.com/