Princeton, New Jersey and Deerfield, Ill. – Results from a recent survey6 of adults with major depressive disorder (MDD), psychiatrists and primary care providers show that nearly two thirds of surveyed adults with MDD who self-report that they take their medication as prescribed say they still deal with MDD symptoms at least weekly (61 percent)4, implying that there may be a need for alternative treatment options that better address the symptoms of MDD.
The Living with MDD survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Lundbeck between April 21 and May 1, 2015, among 300 U.S. adults ages 18+ who self-report that they have been diagnosed with MDD by a healthcare professional and have taken an anti-depressant within the past year (“adults with MDD”); 150 U.S. psychiatrists who treat people with MDD (“psychiatrists”); and 152 U.S. primary care providers who treat people with MDD (“primary care providers”).7 Adults with MDD were recruited from online panels and invited by email to participate in the survey; their anonymity was maintained. Adults with MDD were not required to currently be on medication for their MDD symptoms in order to participate in the survey; 10 percent of the participants were not taking medication at the time of the survey.
“The symptoms of major depressive disorder can have a debilitating effect on all aspects of the lives of adults who suffer from the disease,” said Gerald A. Maguire, MD, DFAPA, professor and chair, psychiatry and neuroscience, University of California, Riverside School of Medicine. “Physicians work closely with their patients to find the treatment plans that are most effective, but unfortunately, even when patients take their medication as prescribed, many still deal with MDD symptoms frequently.”
Approximately 15 million adults in the U.S. live with MDD, making it one of the most common mental disorders3. Symptoms of MDD include persistent sad or anxious feelings, and can also include pessimism, and irritability, loss of interest in activities, fatigue and thoughts of suicide8. The majority of surveyed adults with MDD (56 percent) report that MDD is their most serious health concern. And in turn, of surveyed adults with MDD who currently take medication, 90 percent responded that they always take the medication exactly as prescribed.
Of this group, though, nearly two thirds (61 percent) report that they still deal with MDD symptoms at least once a week. Surveyed adults with MDD also report substantial impact of MDD on their daily lives, including, on average, taking almost two sick days from work or school in the last month (1.8 days) as well as having over six days where they have not been able to complete daily living tasks such as cooking, cleaning or paying bills (6.3 days), and more than two days where they have missed a social event due to their MDD (2.4 days).
While this sort of survey data sheds light on the severity of the disease, disparities exist between surveyed adults with MDD and physicians2 with regard to satisfaction with treatment options, and survey results imply that although adults with MDD are still experiencing symptoms even when taking medication consistently, their expectation of treatment results may be different than those of physicians1,2. Of surveyed adults with MDD who report that they take their medication as prescribed4 and report satisfaction with their treatment, 42 percent report still experiencing symptoms at least once a week and 26 percent say they experience symptoms several times a week or more.
Seventy three percent of surveyed psychiatrists and 54 percent of surveyed primary care providers agree that there are not enough medication options that work well enough to relieve their patients’ symptoms of MDD9. However, 40 percent of surveyed adults with MDD agreed with the same statement9.
Further, over half of surveyed adults with MDD (55 percent) agree that there have been a lot of ups and downs with their MDD medication, and the majority of psychiatrists (70 percent) and primary care providers (54 percent) report changing their MDD patients’ medication at least once a year, implying that they may be searching for treatment options that better address the symptoms of MDD and are tolerable for patients3,9.
In addition to managing symptoms, physicians2 work with their patients to reduce side effects of medication. About 7 in 10 surveyed psychiatrists (77 percent) and primary care providers (69 percent) report that they are frustrated by the side effects their patients experience from their MDD medication, while 45 percent of surveyed adults with MDD report the same5 – further implying that their expectations of treatment results may be different than those of physicians2.
“Patients should speak with their physicians about treatment plans and how often they are continuing to experience symptoms of MDD,” said Dr. Maguire. “New treatment advances may be required to better manage their symptoms.”
For more information on the survey results and shareable resources, please visit LivingWithMajorDepressiveDisorder.com.
About the Living with MDD Survey
The Living with MDD survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Lundbeck between April 21 and May 1, 2015, among 300 U.S. adults ages 18+ who self-report that they have been diagnosed with MDD by a healthcare professional and have been on an anti-depressant in the past year (“adults with MDD”); 150 U.S. psychiatrists who treat at least 2 people with MDD per month (“psychiatrists”); and 152 U.S. primary care providers who treat at least 2 people with MDD per month (“primary care providers”). The survey did not attempt to interview the patients of the psychiatrists and primary care providers, and based on the anonymous nature of the survey, would not directly know that information. Any incidence of physician/patient-related respondents is purely coincidental. Adults with MDD were recruited from online panels and invited by email to participate in the survey; their anonymity was maintained. Adults with MDD were not required to currently be on medication for their MDD symptoms in order to participate in the survey; 10 percent of the participants were not taking medication at the time of the survey. Adults with MDD self-reported their diagnosis, medication and symptom history, which was not confirmed with a physician. Data for patients were not weighted and are only representative of those who completed the survey.
About Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.
Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OAPI) is an innovative, fast-growing healthcare company that commercializes Otsuka-discovered and in-licensed products in the U.S., with a strong focus on neuroscience, oncology, cardio-renal, and medical devices. For more information, visit www.otsuka-us.com.
OAPI is a subsidiary of Otsuka America, Inc. (OAI), a holding company established in the U.S. in 1989. OAI is wholly owned by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: 'Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide.'
Otsuka Pharmaceutical is a leading firm in the challenging area of mental health and also has products and research programs for several under-addressed diseases including tuberculosis, a significant global public health issue. These commitments illustrate more powerfully than words how Otsuka is a “big venture” company at heart, applying a youthful spirit of creativity in everything it does.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical and its affiliates employ approximately 30,000 people globally, and the company welcomes you to visit its global website at: http://www.otsuka.co.jp/en/index.php.
Lundbeck is a global pharmaceutical company specialized in brain diseases. For more than 70 years, we have been at the forefront of research within neuroscience. Our key areas of focus are alcohol dependence, Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar disorder, depression/anxiety, epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (NOH).
An estimated 700 million people worldwide are living with brain disease and far too many suffer due to inadequate treatment, discrimination, a reduced number of working days, early retirement and other unnecessary consequences. Every day, we strive for improved treatment and a better life for people living with brain disease – we call this Progress in Mind. Read more at www.lundbeck.com/global/about-us/progress-in-mind.
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Lundbeck has approximately 6,000 employees in 57 countries who are engaged in the entire value chain throughout research, development, production, marketing and sales. Our pipeline consists of several late-stage development programmes and our products are available in more 100 countries. We have research centres in China, Denmark and the United States and production facilities in China, Denmark, France and Italy. Lundbeck generated core revenue of DKK 13.5 billion in 2014 (EUR 1.8 billion; USD 2.4 billion).
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