Psychotropic drug market grows

April 1, 1997
Pharmaceutical Representative

Both the U.S. and European markets for psychotropic drugs are thriving, according to a report from FIND/SVP, New York.

Both the U.S. and European markets for psychotropic drugs are thriving, according to a report from FIND/SVP, New York.

Growth in the United States was exceptional, with sales reaching an estimated $7.6 billion in 1996, up from $6.6 billion in 1995. Double-digit growth is expected to continue through the year 2000. The European market reached $2.94 billion in 1995, up from $2.77 billion in 1994.

The report, titled "The U.S. and European Markets for Psychotropic Drugs," attributed the boom to recent discoveries in molecular biology and genetics that have led to the understanding that most - if not all - mental disorders stem from abnormal brain chemistry.

In the United States, the market is divided into six segments: antianxiety agents, antidepressants, antimanic agents, antipsychotic medications, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder treatments and substance-related treatments.

Pharmaceuticals within these segments are used in treating a variety of mental disorders, including anorexia, phobias and schizophrenia. In the United States, antidepressant agents are the largest of the six segments, accounting for more than half of market share.

In Europe, the market is divided into three segments: antianxiety agents, antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs. The largest European segment is antianxiety agents, with 43% of the market.

Managed care's impact

The FIND/SVP study noted that due to managed care's influence in the United States, the number of people hospitalized in mental institutions has decreased by as much as 85% from the 1960s. It is estimated that the cost of institutional care for a patient suffering from schizophrenia exceeds $73,000 per year.

The most expensive pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia, Sandoz's Clozaril, costs approximately $10,000 annually, according to the report.

Managed care, with its demand for use of generic drugs whenever possible, is also responsible for the significantly increased sales of generics, which make up 10% to 48% of market share in varying segments. PR