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Lexapro Loses First-Line Position for the Treatment of Major Depression
Date:5/12/2009

Use of Atypicals In Major Depression Treatment Is Growing, According to a New Report from Decision Resources

Patient-Flow Forecasts Between Pristiq and Effexor XR Need to Take Into Account Reimbursement Hurdles

WALTHAM, Mass., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that Forest Laboratories' Lexapro is no longer the leading first-line agent of choice for the treatment of major depression. Lexapro may have lost its first-line dominance because of the increasing frequency of step therapy restrictions requiring patients to first try therapy with citalopram (Forest Laboratories' Celexa, generics) before being reimbursed for Lexapro.

The new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Major Depression also finds that although atypical antipsychotics do not capture substantial patient share until the third-line of therapy in newly diagnosed patients, third-line patient share has grown from 11.8 percent to 17.1 percent since last year's report. This growth is likely attributed to physicians' growing comfort with these agents given the FDA approval of Bristol-Myers Squibb/Otsuka's Abilify as an adjunct therapy in 2007 and the expected upcoming FDA approval of AstraZeneca's Seroquel XR for treating this disease.

"AstraZeneca's Seroquel, Pfizer's Geodon and Eli Lilly's Zyprexa all capture more patient share in the third line in our current analysis versus the analysis in our 2008 report. Even though these agents are not FDA-approved for major depression, physicians appear to be becoming more comfortable with atypicals as a class, a trend that may reflect a spill-over effect from Abilify's approval," stated Michael Malecki, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources.

By pairing patient-level claims data with primary survey data, the report can be used to build patient-flow m
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SOURCE Decision Resources
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