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Antidepressant sales skyrocket in Hungary

The value of antidepressants sold in Hungary grew by 48%, while the quantity sold grew some 26% between September 2018 and August 2019, according to a study by market researcher Nielsen.

Sales in the period amounted to 105,000 packages of pills to the value of HUF 156 million. Nielsen says the most significant turnover is realized between October and December, when some 30% of all sales take place, in terms of quantity.

Pills remain the most popular form of antidepressants, with pill sales accounting for about 80% of all sales. Compared to the same period last year, pill sales increased by two-thirds, value-wise.

Larger packages are also gaining popularity, with those containing 50-99 portions of medication increasing their turnover value tenfold, accompanied by a 15-fold increase in quantity.

"During the fall, demand for antidepressants jumps," says Kitti Nagy, Nielsenʼs customer relations head. "The gloomy mood and the bad weather during the fall and winter prompt an increasing number of people to choose this category. Some 30% of yearly turnover is realized during this period. The whole season usually falls between September and March, peaking in December."

More than three-quarters of the antidepressants available in the retail network are purchased at drugstores. Nielsen says that its retail index does not include the sales of pharmacies.