The Market for Psychotherapeutic Drugs

Published - Nov 2000| Analyst - Lynn Gray| Code - PHM021A
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Report Highlights

  • The market for psychotherapeutic drugs represents the third-largest therapeutic category in terms of worldwide sales and was estimated at just under $20 billion in 2000. This therapeutic sector is characterized by fewer products in relation to the dollar size of the market than are the leading therapeutic categories, cardiovascular treatments and anti-infective agents. The market comprises less than 3 dozen drugs with sales over $50 million; nearly 30 of these products had sales exceeding $100 million and nine had sales exceeding $500 million.
  • The leading company in the psychotherapeutic drug sector is Eli Lilly, which holds about 30% of the market with two products-the antidepressant Prozac and the antipsychotic Zyprexa. Other leading competitors in the market are Pfizer, SmithKline Beecham, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson and Pharmacia & Upjohn.



The aim of this report is to provide a range of information—from detailed market analyses through industry trends—to quantify and qualify the market for psychotherapeutic drugs. Forecasts and trends are gleaned from interviews with industry sources as well as from considered assessment of available and emerging technologies. The report develops forecasts for products used in the treatment of psychiatric diseases and disorders from 1998 through 2005, and examines strategies employed by biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical firms to survive and prevail in this highly competitive and rapidly changing market.


This report includes the following categories of psychotherapeutic products: addiction treatments (including alcohol, cocaine/heroin and nicotine), Alzheimer's disease therapies, antidepressants, anxiolytics (including drugs to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and other anxieties), attention deficit disorder drugs, narcolepsy drugs, antiobesity agents, antipsychotic agents and hypnotics/sedatives.

One of the major drivers of the psychotherapeutic sector is the emergence of new indications for existing drugs. Expanding indications is a common theme in this therapeutic class, as can be seen from the many trials in progress for products already on the market. This report assesses the impact not only of new agents entering the market to treat psychiatric disease, but also of the strategies employed by firms with marketed products to expand the market and often the patent life of these products.

The information and analysis presented in this report are important assets in decision-making for managers involved in development, marketing, market research, product development, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, management, investment banking and deal creation, and for consultants to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. The study provides a comprehensive analysis of the current markets for psychotherapeutic drugs and, in particular, the market potential of technologies in development.


The scope of the study is worldwide. The Overview section provides a discussion of the biochemistry of the nervous system; the role played by the many neuroreceptor agonists and antagonists in the treatment of psychiatric disorders; demographic and clinical information about the diseases and disorders covered in this report; and a summary of drugs in development for the treatment of psychiatric disorders.

The Products section describes available and emerging neuropharmaceuticals, including discussions of strategies employed to increase patent life of existing products and/or expand their indications and patient base, as well as detailed discussion of agents in development and how these will influence the treatment of disease as well as the market.

The Market section provides forecasts of the market subcategories for psychotherapeutic drugs, as well as analyses of current and future sales of more than 30 leading psychotherapeutic agents.

The section on Industry and the Regulatory Environment provides a prospectus of the worldwide pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in 2000; the effect of recent mergers on the structure of the pharmaceutical industry; the influence of worldwide drug pricing restrictions on the market; and the impact of genomics on the development of drugs and the future of health care.

The section on Company Profiles balances detailed exploration of companies that have been longtime participants in the psychotherapeutic drug sector with that of companies that have not yet entered the market with products.


The base year for this study is 2000. Figures are based on revenue figures at the manufacturers' level, and are projected at 2000 dollar value; that is, inflation is not computed into the projection figures.

Information to prepare this study was derived from interviews with product managers, marketing strategists, research executives and others at companies well established in the psychotherapeutic drug area, as well as biotech start-ups that are hoping to bring products to market themselves or develop them for licensing to larger firms.


The information and analysis presented in this report are based on an extensive survey of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as well as a detailed examination of published literature and reports obtained from regulatory authorities, medical research institutions, pharmaceutical trade associations and national and world health organizations. Key information from the literature was used as a basis to conduct dialogue and obtain expert opinion on commercial potential and market sizes from industry professionals.

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