The prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) symptoms are expected to increase due to COVID-19-related stress, as patients struggled with a loss of personal freedom, conflicting messages from authorities and concerns with health security.
Increased activity is expected in digital therapeutics (DTx) as pharmaceutical companies aim to fill the unmet need of improved patient education and expectation management
GlobaData estimates that the 12-month total prevalent cases of MDD in the 8MM in 2029 will increase to 55,373,325
The prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD) – a highly debilitating condition often known as clinical depression – is expected to increase due to COVID-19-related stress.
While the effect of the pandemic on the diagnosed MDD patient population is as of yet unquantified, the stress-inducing factors of COVID-19 such as a long duration of quarantine, fears of infection, inadequate information from authorities, stigma and financial loss will lead to a higher prevalence of depressive symptoms worldwide.
Leading data and analytics company GlobalData notes that the MDD market in the 8MM is expected to reach $7.87bn by 2029, with eight new pipeline products set to address the unmet needs of a growing patient population.
GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Major Depressive Disorder – Global Drug Forecast and Market Analysis to 2029’, reveals that in the 8MM alone, the 12-month total prevalent cases of MDD in 2029 will increase to 55,373,325. With the US expected to see the highest number of 12-month prevalent in cases in 2029 at 26,880,391. The report also confirms that drug sales for MDD in 2019 were approximately $3.79bn across the 8MM and anticipates the market will grow to $7.87bn by 2029, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1%.
Conflicting messages from official authorities, the implementation of lockdowns and the redirection of healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to an increase in those experiencing depressive symptoms worldwide. However, the mental health support available to patients will be insufficient to meet their needs,” Jemima Walker, Associate Thematic Analyst at GlobalData, said.
For diagnosed MDD patients, there are several antidepressants available for treatment, with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) the most common.
GlobalData predicts that eight late-stage pipeline drugs will collectively take 62.9% of sales in 2029.
“MDD drugs in the pipeline are aiming to provide rapid antidepressant effects and improved safety profiles, which in term will improve patient outcomes, however, they will still struggle to challenge the cheaper, more generic SSRIs and SNRIs already well established in the market,” Walker continued.
“An emerging R&D strategy in the MDD market is investment in digital therapeutics (DTx). DTx could play a vital future role in helping to educate patients about the condition and managing their expectations. This is currently an unmet need identified by GlobalData, as studies have provided evidence that MDD patients have better outcomes when they have realistic expectations of antidepressant therapy outcomes.
“Digital therapeutics are an exciting new development in the MDD pharma space, with potential to mimic cognitive therapy principles alongside pharmaceutical treatments. As the bigger players enter the scene, and investment in digital therapeutics for MDD increases this could improve the availability and efficacy of treatment in regions with underserved mental health services.”