Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck has succeeded in getting its antidepressant Cipralex [Lexapro] on the reimbursable medicines list in the province of Ontario, writes financial daily newspaper Børsen. Cipramil, Lundbeck's predecessor to Cipralex generated sales of DKK 1bn (USD 170m) in Canada from 1999-2003, with full reimbursement across the whole country.
Director Ole Chrintz of Lundbeck told Børsen: "It is the best indication of what can happen, but it requires that we also get into the other provinces and we think there is a good chance we will."
Canada is the world's third most valuable market for antidepressants with a total market value of approx. DKK 4bn (USD 670m). The market is almost equally divided into a public and private sector market. Lundbeck has so far only been represented on the private sector market, which is financed by personal insurance. The company has a 12% share of the market, but Chrintz expects this share to grow significantly now that the door to the public sector market has opened.
"We think that we are losing many patients in the private sector market because doctors also need to assess whether patients belong to the public or private sector market. They don't have to do that now."
Lundbeck expects the other Canadian provinces to follow Ontario's lead, giving the company access to the entire market.
"An opening of the Canadian market can generate at least the same revenue that we had with Cipramil in the past. It will take some time, but now we have the chance to achieve it," says Ole Chrintz.
Lundbeck is an international pharmaceutical company engaged in research and development, production, marketing and sales of drugs for the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders. The company is headquartered in Copenhagen and employs approx. 5,000 people.