Bipolar disorder (BPD) is a chronic and debilitating psychiatric illness, and proper treatment requires that each phase of the disease (acute manic episode, acute depressive episode, or maintenance phase) be addressed, which often requires treatment with multiple drugs and frequent treatment changes. Treatment of BPD is highly individualized, and physicians have a wide array of drugs to choose from when tailoring a patient’s treatment. Nevertheless, in general, mood stabilizers such as antiepileptic drugs are the cornerstone of BPD treatment, while atypical antipsychotics play a considerable role in the treatment of both bipolar mania and bipolar depression. At the same time, because of the armamentarium of drugs available, coupled with the fact that a large number of the drugs in most drug classes are generically available, emerging drugs will find it difficult to establish themselves in the market without a strong differentiating feature.
This report uses national patient-level claims data to explore the positioning of the leading maintenance therapies in the treatment of newly diagnosed BPD patients using a quantitative analysis of treatment patterns and share by line of therapy, as well as progression between lines, duration of treatment on each line, and use of concomitant treatment. The report also quantifies a drug’s source of business among recently treated BPD patients compared with its competitors and details which drugs precede others through an analysis of add-versus-switch patterns. Additional analyses explore persistency and compliance by brand.