Generic unipolar depression drugs may shrink market size

WALTHAM, Mass. The drug market for unipolar depression will get smaller over the next decade due to competition from generic drugs, according to a new report by market research firm Decision Resources.

The report, released Wednesday, found that the market would decrease by nearly 10% by 2019, to slightly more than $9 billion, due to generic competition for such drugs as Pfizer’s Effexor XR (venlafaxine), Eli Lilly’s Cymbalta (duloxetine hydrochloride) and Forest Labs’ Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate). At the same time, sales of some antipsychotic drugs, including Bristol-Myers Squibb’s and Otsuka’s Abilify (aripiprazole) and AstraZeneca’s Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) will offset the decline.

“Atypical antipsychotics, most notably Abilify and Seroquel, will continue to have an increasing therapeutic role as adjunctive treatments to antidepressants in patients with treatment-resistant depression,” Decision Resources analyst Natalie Taylor said. “As a result, sales of atypical antipsychotics for unipolar depression will peak at just over $2 billion in 2011.”

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