The drug is indicated in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) who have not responded to antidepressant monotherapy.
MDD is the leading cause of suicide, but up to 50% of people who suffer from MDD do not respond to first-line antidepressant treatment, so add-on treatments are regularly used.
Stuart Montgomery, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, commented: “Effective medicines are a cornerstone of management for people with depression, and this new indication for quetiapine prolonged release provides healthcare professionals with a new option of add-on therapy when considering how best to treat inadequately responding MDD. This can only be good news for people who suffer from this serious and common condition.”
Mental illness costs us all around £33.75 billion each year, but less than a quarter of this is spent on providing health services, according to a recent report from the mental health charity Rethink, Fair Treatment Now. It is therefore hoped that further treatment options for mental health conditions may help to reduce the overall cost of mental health issues to society.
Mark Jones, Marketing Company President at AstraZeneca UK, said: “We at AstraZeneca UK are delighted that Seroquel XL has received this licence for MDD, as this means that people who haven’t had their symptoms fully controlled after initial therapy have a new add-on treatment option available for their physicians to consider. The licence also further establishes the antidepressant efficacy of Seroquel XL following its approval for depressive episodes in people with bipolar disorder.”