The antidepressant market in Romania, put at approximately 22m euros and 2.4 million units, rose by 3-4% in the first five months of the year (in terms of the number of units), a trend that may maintain by year-end, Ziarul Financiar reported.
The volume growth is generated by the rising number of depressed persons going to the doctor for treatment. Still, the antidepressant market accounts for less than 1.5% of the pharmaceutical market, of 2bn euros last year. On the other hand, in terms of value, the market witnessed stagnation or a slight downward trend as a result of product price cuts by the Health Ministry.
However, the market has volume growth perspectives by year-end, and in terms of value it will probably stay at the level of 2008. The trend in units is a little different from that in value. This can be accounted for by a series of regulations of the Health Ministry that cut producer prices, as well as by the population's falling purchasing power," said Simona Mocanu, business unit manager with Romastru Trading, a company marketing and promoting Wyeth products.
Whereas price cuts dragged the market downward in terms of value, recession will bring growth in units.
"Another important factor influencing this market is the number of patients diagnosed with depression and receiving treatment. Amid the current economic conditions, their number will go up, but the volume will not compensate the fall in value," Mocanu said.
Psychologists also support the assertion. "I cannot complain. The number of consultations has risen," says Nicoleta Mihaela Tudor, a psychologist with Romar clinics. She says that after people get used to this new situation, depressions will subside.
Depression would become the second most serious public health issue in the world in 2020, according to WHO data, quoted by Lundbeck, one of the main players on this market.
The domestic antidepressant market in the first four months of the year reached around 6m euros, down 15.7% from a year ago. In terms of volume, though, the market advanced by 3.9%.
At present, most antidepressants are on the list of 90% subsidised drugs or free drugs, so that this market is supported by public funds. Despite its small value compared to the overall level of the drug market of around 2bn euros, the niche of antidepressants has giants such as GSK (2 products), Novartis (5 products), Ranbaxy (5 products), Pfizer (1 product), Servier (3 products) fighting for market share. The leader is Servier, with annual sales of almost 4m euros and a 17% share. Second come Lundbeck and third Wyeth.
While it is not among the segments boasting the fastest growth paces, the antidepressant market is maintaining its growth perspectives for the following period.
Source: Ziarul Financiar