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Lamotrigine is One of the Most Commonly Prescribed Drugs Among Newly Diagnosed Bipolar Disorder Patients in the United States

BURLINGTON, Mass., Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, through analysis of U.S. longitudinal patient-level claims data, antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), atypical antipsychotics and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors capture the largest patient shares among all therapies assessed in newly diagnosed bipolar disorder patients across all three lines of therapy. Although no single agent from any of these drug classes was shown to dominate first-line treatment of newly diagnosed bipolar disorder patients, the AED lamotrigine (GlaxoSmithKline's Lamictal, generics) led other individual agents with nearly 20 percent of first-line patient share. According to thought leaders interviewed by Decision Resources, lamotrigine is considered to be beneficial for preventing and treating bipolar depression, one of the more challenging aspects of treating bipolar disorder.

The report Treatment Algorithms in Bipolar Disorder finds that among newly diagnosed patients, Abilify (Bristol-Myers Squibb/Otsuka) captured the highest first-line patient share within the atypical antipsychotic drug class, despite the availability of multiple generically available agents. Abilify's high patient share among agents in this class is likely due to relatively favorable reimbursement status, a more favorable tolerability profile than other atypical antipsychotics and approval to treat multiple psychiatric indications, which can contribute to physician awareness and preference.

The report also finds that, together, quetiapine products (AstraZeneca's Seroquel, generics and AstraZeneca's Seroquel XR) claimed the highest percentage of patient share within the atypical antipsychotic class among recently treated bipolar disorder patients. Combined, these agents earned over 12 percent patient share during the key therapy period analyzed. Bipolar disorder patients recently treated with Seroquel XR progress to the drug from quetiapine at a greater rate than those recently treated with quetiapine who progress from Seroquel XR. Seroquel XR is approved to treat multiple psychiatric indications, is dosed once daily and is generally subject to fewer market access hurdles than other branded atypical antipsychotics. These factors all contribute to recently treated patients' preferential progression from quetiapine to Seroquel XR.

"Our study findings indicate that quetiapine products are popular options for the treatment of bipolar disorder, and this aligns with the opinions of interviewed experts," said Decision Resources Senior Business Insights Analyst Alana Simorellis, Ph.D. "Quetiapine's efficacy in treating bipolar depression, an area of high unmet need in the bipolar disorder market, gives the molecule an advantage in physician prescribing over most other atypical antipsychotics. In addition, quetiapine and quetiapine XR are approved for all phases of bipolar disorder treatment and are viewed by thought leaders as efficacious options for insomnia and anxiety."

About Decision Resources
Decision Resources ( is a world leader in market research publications, advisory services and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources and master their chosen markets. Decision Resources is a Decision Resources Group company.

About Decision Resources Group
Decision Resources Group is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources Group at

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Christopher Comfort

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