Mar 18, 2019

Demand for Depression Drugs Waning, as CBT and Meditation-based Therapies Gain Momentum


by Team Fact.MR

The depression drugs market, valued at over US$ 6.5 billion in 2017, is likely to witness bearishness in the near future, with a new report by Fact.MR estimating revenues to decline at a -2% CAGR. According to the study, although the prevalence rate of depression has gone up in the last decade, preference for cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and awareness about the potential side effects has led to a decline in demand for depression drugs. The study finds that US continued to be at the forefront in terms of total depression drugs sold in 2018.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression has become one of the common illnesses, affecting over 300 million people across the world. In the United States, approximately 10.3 million adults had experienced at least one major depressive episode that resulted in severe impairment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). High prevalence of such depressive episode was observed among people aged 18-25 (10.9%), female adults (8.5%), and male adults (4.8%). According to the Fact.MR study, although depression continues to be a major health issue, medical community and patients are encouraging a non-drug approach to reduce side effects and dependency. Healthcare providers and patients are focusing on cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based approaches to foster a long-term management of depression and other mental health issues.

Popularity of Tech-based Mental Health Apps also Contributing to Low Sales

The study finds that demand for depression drugs is also witnessing a decline as end-users have more coping options at their disposal. The huge popularity of mental health apps, such as Headspace, Calm, Moodnotes, Pacifica, and SuperBetter has given patients more control over how they manage depression. Considering the growing body of research supporting the use of meditation and cognitive behavior therapy, the proliferation of tech apps has witnessed a spike in the recent years. The study finds that depression drugs market will continue to be influenced by these evolutions.

Depression Drugs Market to Remain Concentrated in Developed Nations

North America and Europe are the two largest depression drugs market globally, owing to concentration of leading market players and increase in R&D of these drugs. While there has been a rising burden of mental illness such as bipolar I disorder and schizophrenia in China and India, lack of wide-ranging awareness regarding antidepressant medications (ADMs) is expected to negatively affect the growth of depression drugs market in the Asia Pacific region. Moreover, different therapies of depression are as efficacious as ADM and their effects are more enduring, which may create a hindrance in future expansion of depression drugs market, especially in Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa.

Depression Drugs Market: Segment-wise Insights

  • On the basis of drug class, the global depression drugs market has been segmented into SSRIs, atypical antipsychotics, SNRIs, CNS stimulants, and others. Of these, atypical antipsychotics is expected to contribute the largest share in the market.
  • Major depressive disorder has been envisaged to account for the most substantial share in the depression drugs market based on disease type. Other sub-segments include SSRI induced, schizophrenia, and bipolar I disorder.
  • While depression drugs are sold across retail, hospital, and online pharmacies, the retail segment registered the largest share in 2017, and the trend is expected to continue during the 2018-2026 period.

Global Depression Drugs Market: Competitive Landscape

Some key players operating in the manufacturing of depression drugs are Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Johnson & Johnson, Sebela Pharmaceutical Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc, AstraZeneca plc, Eli Lilly and Company, Allergan USA, Inc., Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd, Novartis AG, Pfizer, Inc., Alkermes Plc, H. Lundbeck, Bristol Myers Squibb Co., and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.