According to research and consulting firm, GlobalData, the market value for bipolar disorder treatments is projected to drop by 28 percent to $4.2 billion, by 2024. The drop is a reflection of the generic erosion that prevents drug companies from developing new therapies for the disorder.
According to GlobalData, the decline will be consistent across all major markets – including the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan – and will be markedly steep between over the next 2 years. The patent expiration of Otsuka’s Abilify is expected to be a major factor in the decline of the industry.
Abilify had a 40 percent market share across all eight major markets in 2014, therefore the generic erosion in both the US and five key European markets is projected to have a serious impact on market value. Many generic treatments for bipolar disorder are already on the market, and the next few years will see multiple other patent expirations.
The lower prices of generic drugs compared to their branded counterparts, means they get prescribed more often in Western markets. Pharmaceutical companies have little incentive to develop new treatments for bipolar disorder – as sales would be slow due to their high price points – so there are very few novel therapies in the late-stage pipeline.
The consulting firm does offer a ray of hope: between 2020 and 2024, there’s expected to be minor growth in the bipolar treatment space, as the availability of generics saturate the market. This period is also expected to show an increased uptake of drugs like Abilify, Maintena and Vraylar.
The treatment market for the mental disorder was as high as $5.8 billion in 2014. The projected decline was calculated using a negative Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.2 percent.
Though there are a number of well-established drugs on the market that are capable of managing the manic symptoms associated with bipolar disorder, the industry has yet to meet the needs of patients with bipolar depression. Only three drugs are indicated for depression management – a state in which bipolar patients experience more often than manic symptoms – these drugs carry a risk of side effects. The depression treatment space could offer significant opportunity to new players looking to establish themselves in the space.