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MMIT Reality Check on Antidepressants

Posted by Matt Breese on Feb 11, 2016

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Touching a network across healthcare in pharma, payer and provider, MMIT's team extracts market access insights for branded antidepressants in our most recent Reality Check. The following brief highlights some of our key takeaways from the piece.

Payer Coverage: Branded antidepressant products face restricted reimbursement across many geographies and channels. More than half of covered payer-controlled pharmacy benefit lives require either a prior authorization or step therapy to obtain coverage.


Source: MMIT data as of Q1 2016

Trends: While a significant amount of generic treatments compete with branded antidepressants, recent research reveals promise from branded drug development as well as significant growth opportunities for in-market products. Interestingly, there has been a decrease in general practitioner prescribing for new patients suffering from depression. However, antidepressant prescribing for long-term patients, combined with mental health specialist prescriptions, account for overall growth in overall script volume.

Key Findings: Major themes in the branded antidepressant arena include complex coverage restrictions, new product launch implications and shifting promotional strategies. When branded products are listed on formulary, one-half of lives require a PA, whereas one-third of lives require a step edit to obtain coverage. A handful of new treatments offer new mechanisms of action, compared to what currently exists in the market. These novel agents create a more competitive market access landscape for this already crowded arena. Shifts in prescribing habits favor long-term patient relationships, driving the need for manufacturers to optimize each HCP engagement. Many key players invest in areas such as non-personal promotion to stay in front of both physicians and patients.

In the full Reality Check on branded antidepressants below, MMIT's team of experts takes a deeper look into the clinical characteristics, drug market access and payer coverage to summarize key findings within the class.

View Reality Check

Topics: Market Access