Out of the $663 billion sales of pharmaceuticals in 2007, the sale of psychotropic medications was not that high: 3 percent for antipsychotics, 3 percent for antidepressants. Yet if you look at the top ten best-selling drugs, three of them are antipsychotics. The source is IMS health, who describe themselves:
IMS is the one global source for pharmaceutical market intelligence, providing critical information, analysis and services that drive decisions and shape strategies.
Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look quotes the IMS statistics and adds these observations:
Antipsychotics were the sixth best selling class of medications globally in 2007, according to IMS Health. They raked in a cool $20.7 billion, an increase of 10.7% from 2006. Thank God we are doing a better job of overrecognizing, er, appropriately treating bipolar disorder. Antidepressants were #7, at $19.7 billion, down nearly seven percent. This does not appear to be due to declining prescriptions. Blame generics, not decreased prescriptions for the lower numbers. With Cymbalta, Lilly has shown that new antidepressants don’t have to be anything special, so it would behoove other companies to release other run of the mill antidepressants, attach a comical, er, highly educational marketing campaign such as Depression Hurts, then watch the money roll in. Just some free advice.
It was the author of that website (Clinical Psych) that proposed a National Bipolar Unawareness Week. An humorous take on the overdiagnosis of manic depression.