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Patient Treatment for Bipolar Disorder Varies Depending on Doctor Specialty; Well Designed Clinical Trials May Be The Answer
Date:10/2/2007

AstraZeneca's Seroquel Emerges as the Antipsychotic of Choice in All Lines

of Therapy, According to a New Report from Decision Resources

WALTHAM, Mass., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that patient treatment for bipolar disorder varies depending on doctor specialty. According to the new report entitled Treatment Algorithms in Bipolar Disorder, psychiatrists and PCPs overall approach to treating bipolar disorder patients differs significantly. Nearly all surveyed psychiatrists currently prescribe the three American Psychological Association (APA) recommended first-line monotherapies for bipolar mania: lithium (99 percent), valproic acid (95 percent) and atypical antipsychotics, such as AstraZeneca's Seroquel (95 percent), as well as the recommended treatment for bipolar depression (GlaxoSmithKline's Lamictal, 96 percent). Seventy-nine percent of surveyed PCPs currently prescribe lithium and 81 percent prescribe Seroquel; however only half of PCPs currently prescribe valproic acid or Lamictal. When treating depressive symptoms, psychiatrists follow APA guidelines and choose Lamictal as their key agent; PCPs opt for antidepressants first line.

Physicians have a wealth of bipolar drugs to choose from, especially among the antipsychotics, and not enough clinical data to differentiate their use. Manufacturers that are able to differentiate their drugs and communicate these factors to physicians, particularly to PCPs, will see the largest increases in share. "Physicians overwhelmingly agree that there is a strong need for clinical trial data," said Nicole Westphal, Ph.D. analyst at Decision Resources. "In addition to safety, trials that demonstrate an agent's efficacy in treating bipolar depression or that demonstrate a drug's effectiveness as a well-tolerated maintenance treatment have the greatest potential to alter physician
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SOURCE Decision Resources
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