Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that patient treatment for bipolar disorder varies depending on doctor specialty. According to the new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Bipolar Disorder, psychiatrists and PCPs overall approach to treating bipolar disorder patients differs significantly. Nearly all surveyed psychiatrists currently prescribe the three American Psychological Association (APA) recommended first-line monotherapies for bipolar mania: lithium (99 percent), valproic acid (95 percent) and atypical antipsychotics, such as AstraZeneca's Seroquel (95 percent), as well as the recommended treatment for bipolar depression (GlaxoSmithKline's Lamictal, 96 percent). Seventy-nine percent of surveyed PCPs currently prescribe lithium and 81 percent prescribe Seroquel; however only half of PCPs currently prescribe valproic acid or Lamictal. When treating depressive symptoms, psychiatrists follow APA guidelines and choose Lamictal as their key agent; PCPs opt for antidepressants first line.

Physicians have a wealth of bipolar drugs to choose from, especially among the antipsychotics, and not enough clinical data to differentiate their use. Manufacturers that are able to differentiate their drugs and communicate these factors to physicians, particularly to PCPs, will see the largest increases in share. "Physicians overwhelmingly agree that there is a strong need for clinical trial data," said Nicole Westphal, Ph.D. analyst at Decision Resources. "In addition to safety, trials that demonstrate an agent's efficacy in treating bipolar depression or that demonstrate a drug's effectiveness as a well-tolerated maintenance treatment have the greatest potential to alter physician use."

The report also finds that Seroquel has gained ground among both psychiatrists and PCPs as a first-line monotherapy and maintenance treatment. Seroquel captures 14.5% patient share first line, up 13.1% from just two years ago. Seroquel will continue to acquire patient share in all lines of therapy, largely owing to its first-in-class status among the antipsychotics to treat both mania and depression. Janssen's Risperdal and Eli Lilly's Zyprexa suffered the greatest losses, losing a combined 11.9% patient share first line over the same time period.

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 

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SOURCE: Decision Resources

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

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