Analysts: Transition to generic antidepressants will be offset by new options
- Cymbalta (duloxetine) and Abilify (aripiprazole), two widely used antidepressants, are facing patent expiry. Generic versions are expected to be launched almost immediately after expiration.
- The introduction of two new brand-name antidepressants, Brintillix (vortioexetine) and Fetzima (levomilnaceprin ER), will help balance out transition to generics and drive revenues in this therapeutic category.
- Market pressure will continue to push the use of generics -- but there is a need for novel antidepressant technology to use as part of combination therapy or when generic medications fail.
In May, BioPharma Dive reported on the dearth of products in development for depression. But despite concerns about the pipeline, Brintillix and Fetzima have been generating some buzz in the industry.
Depression treatments assume that a certain percentage of patients will have to try different medications until one works, or that they may have to switch medications. Combination therapy is necessary in many cases. Regardless, new branded medications frequently bring real value to the treatment equation.
Analysts from Decision Resources also noted that the continued use of antipsychotics as adjunctive treatment for patients who do not respond well to antidepressants is another potential area for growth in this sector.