In the same period, antidepressant market dropped 12.3% in value. “The fact that in first quarter, the antidepressant market increased in terms of volume can be attributed to difficulties generated by the financial crisis and the decline in terms of value - attributed to specific market difficulties and decline in purchase power”, Petru Craciun (photo) managing director of Cegedim told Wall-Street.

The Danish drugmaker Lundbeck took the leadership in first quarter in terms of sales. The company’s sales of Cipralex stood at 893,000 euros in Q1, up 14.5% from prior-year quarter.

Servier is ranked second by the sales volume of antidepressant drugs, with a total of 845,000 euros for Coaxil, Stimulton and Velaxin.

Wyeth took the third spot, with 664,000 sales for Efectin, while at Ranbaxy, the antidepressant segment fueled 317,000 euros in the company’s quarterly report. Novartis reported 245,000 euros and GSK – 238,000 euros.

The market still has growth prospects for the reminder of the year, as representative of Cegedim commented. “Even if we will have to closely monitor the future evolution of the market, I think the market will continue to rise despite the poor economic conditions”.

In the midst of a recession, the sale of antidepressant increased by 15% in 2008 in USA. In the same period, the local market advanced by 13.2%. According to Cegedim, 94.6% of the antidepressant drugs sold last year at the retail chains were released on prescription.