Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the modest introduction of emerging therapies in the bipolar depression market will not compensate for extensive generic erosion of branded agents, resulting in a decrease of just over $1 billion in drug sales through 2017 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.
The new Pharmacor report entitled Bipolar Depression finds that while physician awareness of bipolar depression is increasing, the severe generic erosion facing the market over the next several years - particularly in the atypical antipsychotic class - will significantly constrain overall growth. Among the key agents that will lose patent exclusivity over the next several years are AstraZeneca's Seroquel, Bristol-Myers Squibb/Otsuka Pharmaceutical's Abilify and GlaxoSmithKline's Lamictal. Additionally, while three novel agents are in development for approval to treat bipolar depression - Repligen's RG-2417, Lundbeck's LU-AA34893 and Cephalon's Nuvigil - the introduction of these and other emerging agents will not be enough to sustain market sales. The report finds that considerable opportunity remains for a drug that has benefits in safety and tolerability as compared to currently-approved therapies for bipolar depression, which are associated with considerable metabolic side effects.
The report also finds that while over 8.5 million people suffer from bipolar depression in the seven major markets under study, a significant percentage of cases are often erroneously identified as unipolar depression.
"Even when suffering from a major depressive episode, not all bipolar depression patients are correctly diagnosed," said Sandra Chow, analyst at Decision Resources. "We found that only two-thirds of bipolar depression patients in the United States and one-half of these patients in Europe are correctly diagnosed. Although increasing awareness of bipolar depression among physicians will result in an increase in diagnosis rates and will drive drug sales, this will not be enough to offset the losses caused by generic erosion in the market."
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