The office of the Drug Controller General of India
has approved the launch in this country of an anti-depressant
drug, Brintellix (Vortioxetine), developed by Denmark-based pharmaceutical major Lundbeck.
It will be the first patented drug to be sold in India for depression.
Lundbeck, a $2.8-bn (annual) turnover company, says it plans to soon bring here more from its international pipeline of patented products. For instance, to treat Parkinson’s. The company has been present in the India market since 2002. It has products for Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia, among others. The depression
medicine would be available in doses of 5 mg, 10 mg and 15 mg, priced respectively, at Rs 45, Rs 74 and Rs 120. It will be imported from the firm’s Denmark facility.
The Indian anti-depressant
drug market is pegged at Rs 12.5 billion a year. Around 18 per cent of the global population estimated to be affected by depression
live in India.
“Due to lifestyle changes, incidence of cardiac, diabetes and CNS
(central nervous system) disease has been increasing. The market for these diseases are increasing at strong double-digit, Y0Y. However, to have a strong presence in the domestic market, Lundbeck
will need a field force of over 500 medical representatives,” said Amey Chalke, pharma analyst at HDFC Securities.
The Danish company has only around 70 at present.