Bipolar disorder treatment involves medication and therapy to control manic and depressive episodes associated with bipolar disorder. It includes mood stabilizing drugs, antidepressants, antipsychotics and counseling/therapy.
The growing public awareness regarding bipolar disorder and availability of various treatment options are expected to drive the market growth over the forecast period. According to World Health Organization (WHO), around 45 million people worldwide suffer from bipolar disorder. However, many people remain undiagnosed due to lack of awareness and social stigma associated with mental health issues. Various initiatives by governments and mental health organizations to reduce the stigma and enhance awareness are increasing the diagnosis rate. Furthermore, the introduction of novel drugs and therapies with improved safety profile and reduced side effects are also fueling the adoption.
Growing Government Funding in Bipolar Disorder Treatment is Driving Market Growth
With increasing awareness about mental health issues, governments across the world are allocating higher healthcare budgets for treatment and research of conditions like bipolar disorder. For example, the US government’s National Institute of Mental Health allocated $151 million in 2019 for bipolar disorder related research which marked a 10% rise over the previous year’s budget. This increased funding is enabling wider access to advanced therapies and development of new drugs. It is also helping set up more community-based mental health facilities for patients. The higher investments are expected to continue in the coming years to address the growing prevalence of bipolar disorder.
Increasing Generic Drug Approvals is Reducing Treatment Costs and Expanding Patient Reach
Many blockbuster drugs for bipolar disorder have gone off patent in recent times leading to increased generic competition. In 2019 alone, generics of top selling drugs like Seroquel, Lamictal and Geodon were approved in major markets. As generic versions are significantly cheaper than branded products, they are making advanced treatment options more affordable for payers and patients. This is allowing healthcare providers to treat more number of individuals living with bipolar disorder. The lower costs are also encouraging better medication adherence among patients. Greater access to low cost generics will remain a key driver in sustaining industry growth over the long run.
Rising Pharmaceutical R&D Costs Pose Challenge to New Product Development
Developing new drugs for complex disorders like bipolar has become increasingly expensive and risky for pharmaceutical companies in recent years. Average out-of-pocket costs to get a new medication approved now exceed $2.6 billion. This can discourage investments in innovative projects targeting unmet needs in bipolar treatment. High failure rates of drug candidates in late stage clinical trials also significantly dent returns on R&D investments. The risks have led many big pharma players to exit the neuroscience segment or focus only on additions to existing drug classes that have quicker approval paths. This consolidation trend can potentially slow down introductions of novel therapeutic mechanisms.
Growing Telepsychiatry Adoption During Pandemic is Expanding Market Reach
The coronavirus pandemic highlighted limitations in traditional ambulatory and in-patient mental healthcare models due to social distancing needs. This has accelerated adoption of digital technologies like telepsychiatry consultations and remote therapy/counselling services for managing bipolar disorder patients. It allows continuity of care while reducing infection risk for at-risk groups. Telehealth providers are now offering specialised programs for bipolar covering areas like digital therapy, medication management and virtual support groups. The digital shift is helping make specialist care accessible for individuals in rural locations or those lacking transport means. It also creates opportunities to target more patient segments through innovative online service models.
Employer Wellness Initiatives Will Drive Increased Bipolar Disorder Screening
More companies are realising value of implementing workplace mental health programs to boost staff wellbeing and productivity. Early detection and management of conditions like bipolar disorder can prevent costly issues like extended sick leaves, higher medical insurance claims and losses due to employee turnover. Leading firms are partnering with payers, pharma firms and digital health startups to introduce wellness portals, counselling services, screening and awareness campaigns focused on mental illnesses. Regular medical screenings combined with de-stigmatisation efforts will likely increase diagnosis rates over next decade. This creates potential growth for drug makers and ancillary service providers in employer-sponsored bipolar disorder management segment.