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Mental health drugs market: Assessing the growth potential

Philippa Salter, Healthcare Analyst, GlobalData points out that any novel therapies and drugs that can tackle treatment-resistant patients will have a huge impact on the mental health drugs market

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 There is huge potential for growth in the mental health drugs market as there are many ways in which the currently available treatments do not meet the needs of patients with mental health disorders.

Firstly, many of the drugs which are used in the treatment of a variety of mental health disorders are associated with significant side effects. If these side effects cannot be tolerated it will directly affect patient compliance which will subsequently affect treatment efficiency. The development of drugs with improved safety profiles, without compromising on efficacy, would be hugely welcomed in the mental health drugs market.

Secondly, many of the currently available drugs can take several weeks before they show therapeutic effects in patients. The need for fast-acting therapies is particularly pressing in patients with severe mental health disorders. The development of drugs with a fast onset of action would also help to increase compliance in patients who can see that the medication they are using is taking effect straight away.

The management of patients with mental health disorders can often be based on a trial-and-error approach, where different medications are switched and combined before the right therapy or combination is found for the patient. Furthermore, despite a large number of drugs on the market for mental health disorders, a significant proportion of patients respond inadequately to multiple different lines of therapy and are referred to as treatment-resistant patients. There is a chronic need to develop novel therapies that target these treatment-resistant patients, and any drugs that could be developed for this need would have a huge impact on the mental health drugs market. The recent approval of esketamine, which targets NMDA receptors, for treatment-resistant depression, demonstrates how novel therapies will be key in growing the mental health drugs market.

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