Accounting for Nearly 90 Percent of Major-Market Sales in 2011, the United States Dominates the Bipolar Disorder Drug Market

Accounting for Nearly 90 Percent of Major-Market Sales in 2011, the United States Dominates the Bipolar Disorder Drug Market

Christopher Comfort, 781-993-2597

Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, the bipolar disorder drug market is dominated by sales of therapies in the United States—in 2011, the U.S. accounted for nearly 90 percent of major-market sales for bipolar disorder. Overall, major-market sales for antipsychotics will remain relatively stable in Europe and Japan because the increase in patient share in these regions (including the share of branded emerging antipsychotics) will help to offset the effects of generic erosion. Total class sales of atypical antipsychotics will drop to just over $3 billion in 2021 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.

The Pharmacor advisory service entitled also finds that, through 2021, generic competition within the atypical antipsychotic drug class will cause a precipitous decline in the market as major-market sales of all therapies to treat the indication will decline from $6.3 billion in 2011 to just over $4 billion in 2021. Decision Resources forecasts that the uptake of Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma/Sunovion/Takeda Pharmaceutical’s Latuda and the launch of Forest Laboratories/Gedeon Richter/Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma’s cariprazine will help temper the decline in sales of atypical antipsychotics but will not be enough to offset generic erosion within this drug class.

More effective remission of bipolar depression is the largest unmet need in bipolar disorder and experts consistently note that few therapies achieve sufficient efficacy in this market segment, so it presents the greatest commercial opportunity in bipolar disorder.

“We forecast that Latuda, which launched for the treatment of schizophrenia in the United States in 2011, will gain U.S. approval for bipolar depression in 2013 and will subsequently launch in 2014 in Europe and Japan,” said Decision Resources Analyst Alana Simorellis, Ph.D. “Once approved, marketers will differentiate the drug based on its efficacy in bipolar depression and its relatively mild weight gain profile compared with currently marketed atypical antipsychotics. We expect Latuda will make significant contributions to the bipolar depression market with peak-year sales of $500 million to $1 billion.”

The findings also reveal that the treatment algorithm of bipolar disorder is largely unchanged, with lithium, mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics as the primary treatments. Although physicians are aware of the controversy over prescribing antidepressants to this patient population they continue to do so because of the lack of therapies for bipolar depression. Antidepressant sales (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, dopaminergic/noradrenergic agents, serotonin antagonists/reuptake inhibitors, melatonin receptor agonists) made up only 8 percent of the market in 2011 with $480 million in sales because many of these agents are available generically.

“We forecast that the patient share of antidepressants is likely to remain stable over the next decade and, combined with generic erosion of leading brands, will lead to sales of just over $350 million in 2021,” Dr. Simorellis said.

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