Through 2022, New Drug Launches Will Not Offset Market Decline Caused By Expanding Generic Competition Among Antidepressants and Antipsychotics, According to a New Report from Decision Resources
August 1, 2013—Burlington, Mass. —Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, forecasts that Lundbeck/Takeda Pharmaceutical’s emerging antidepressant Brintellix will attain blockbuster status for unipolar depression* in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and Japan by 2022. Brintellix is expected to be one of the most successful new agents in the unipolar depression market because of its potential for positive effects on cognition and its reasonably tolerable side effect profile demonstrated to date. Decision Resources expects Lundbeck and Takeda to position Brintellix as a first-line option for elderly patients with depression and as a second-line therapy in patients who fail a generic selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
The Pharmacor advisory service entitled Unipolar Depression finds that major-market sales in the unipolar depression market will decline by 30 percent from 2012-2022 owing to the generic entry of the blockbuster drugs escitalopram (Lundbeck’s Cipralex/Seroplex, other manufacturers, Forest Laboratories’ Lexapro, generics; Lundbeck/Mochida Pharmaceuticals/Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma’s Lexapro), Bristol-Myers Squibb/Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s Abilify and Eli Lilly/Shionogi’s Cymbalta/Xeristar, as well as expanded generic competition for venlafaxine XR (Pfizer/Almirall’s Effexor XR, other manufacturers, generics). The launch of Brintellix and two other emerging antidepressants by 2022—Eli Lilly’s edivoxetine and Forest Laboratories/Pierre Fabre’s Fetzima—will be insufficient to counteract this decline; edivoxetine and Fetzima will together reach just under $1 billion in sales across the major markets by 2022.
Furthermore, the atypical antipsychotic drug class will experience significant loss of sales in the unipolar depression market owing to continued generic erosion of key agents and, including generic competition to Abilify. Consequently, major-market sales of this drug class will drop by half, to just under $1 billion in 2022. The forecasted launch of Otsuka/Lundbeck’s brexpiprazole and the expanded use of Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma/Sunovion/Takeda’s Latuda across the major markets will only partially offset the forthcoming decline in drug class sales.
“In a highly genericized and fragmented market, in which SSRIs and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are and will remain deeply entrenched first-line agents, the uptake of emerging therapies among physicians will be highly dependent on their successful differentiation from currently available SSRIs and SNRIs,” said Decision Resources Senior Business Insights Analyst Alana K. Simorellis, Ph.D. “An agent benefitting patients who fail to respond to current treatments or one that treats residual symptoms of depression represent opportunities for drug developers. An antidepressant or antipsychotic proven to be more effective in treatment-resistant patients would quickly gain physician acceptance and experience use, likely as part of an augmentation strategy.”
*Unipolar depression encompasses major depressive disorder, minor depression and dysthymia.
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