For the Treatment of Bipolar Depression, One-Third of Surveyed Psychiatrists Identify Lamotrigine as the Therapy with the

However, Approximately One-Third of Surveyed MCOs Indicate That Abilify is the Most Efficacious Agent for Bipolar Depression, According to Findings from Decision Resources

BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues finds that, for the treatment of bipolar depression, the highest percentage of surveyed psychiatrists (34 percent) identify lamotrigine (GlaxoSmithKline’s Lamictal, generics) as the therapy with the greatest overall clinical efficacy when compared to other currently available agents. Physicians who chose lamotrigine as the most efficacious therapy are most satisfied with the percentage of patients responding to treatment but are least satisfied with its efficacy in comorbid symptoms. Physicians’ favorable view of lamotrigine’s efficacy, despite a lack of consensus from clinical studies, is likely a significant contributor to the drug’s popularity in the United States.

The findings from Decision Resources’ analysis of the bipolar depression drug market also reveal that although a small proportion of surveyed psychiatrists identify Bristol-Myers Squibb/Otsuka’s Abilify (aripiprazole) as having the greatest efficacy in bipolar depression, approximately one-third of surveyed managed care organizations’ (MCOs) pharmacy directors indicate that Abilify has the greatest efficacy for bipolar depression among currently available therapies.

“Abilify is not approved for bipolar depression based on the results of two pivotal clinical trials in which Abilify did not show significant improvement over placebo at eight weeks—as a result, psychiatrists we surveyed appear influenced by the result of these trials,” said Decision Resources Analyst Alana Simorellis, Ph.D. “However, payers may be influenced by the approval of Abilify as an adjunct therapy for patients suffering from major depression and who respond inadequately to antidepressants.”

However, many interviewed psychiatrists continue to prescribe Abilify for bipolar depression, particularly at lower doses. In agreement with interviewed psychiatrists, one-third of surveyed psychiatrists chose Abilify as the current therapy with the best overall clinical profile.

The findings also reveal that AstraZeneca’s Seroquel XR (quetiapine XR) was chosen by 23 percent of surveyed psychiatrists as the safest and best tolerated therapy for bipolar depression. Surveyed psychiatrists who chose Seroquel XR as the safest and best tolerated drug indicated high satisfaction with its prevention of treatment emergent mania.

Bipolar depression is the largest unmet need in bipolar disorder, as experts consistently note that few therapies achieve sufficient efficacy in this market segment—as a result, bipolar depression presents a significant commercial opportunity for drug developers. Through 2019, two atypical antipsychotics will launch with potential efficacy in bipolar depression—Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma/Sunovion’s Latuda (lurasidone) and Forest Laboratories/Gedeon Richter/Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma’s cariprazine. Latuda, which launched for the treatment of schizophrenia in February 2011 and is expected to gain approval for bipolar depression by 2013, is forecast to be a major-market leader in 2019, with peak-year sales in excess of $500 million in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and Japan.

Decision Resources’ Robust Market Forecast and Opportunities Analysis

Decision Resources provides a comprehensive view of what is happening in a specific drug market now and in the decade ahead. The research includes analysis of the unmet need and near-term drug development opportunities that exist within a drug market powered by primary research from physicians and payers. The robust market forecast and opportunities analysis is comprised of the Pharmacor 2011 advisory service and the DecisionBase 2011 report series.

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Decision Resources, Inc.
Christopher Comfort, 781-993-2597
[email protected]

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INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Clinical Trials  Mental Health  Pharmaceutical  Other Health  Research  Science