During Bio Europe 2014 in Frankfurt,Germany, one of Aagami meetings brought up discussion on Major Depression market in India. Aagami team later did research on the scenario by looking up statistics, articles and other data. In this blog we share some notes.

As Humans, we all experience variations in mood – a general low frame of mind, or in response to specific things that happen. It's also common to hear people say they are depressed if they feel sad or miserable. But depression is a serious mental health problem. It can interfere with everyday life – over long periods of time or in regular bursts.

As depression can be an 'invisible' illness, some people find it difficult to understand the effect it can have. They might see depression as trivial or dismiss it altogether. And this can make it harder for those experiencing it to speak openly and seek the help they need. India has a large population and depression is quite prevalent.

Statistics on Depression in India:


Economic Burden of Mental Health in India, 2012-2030*: 

Non Communicable Disease(NCD) Category

Economic loss between 2012-2030 (in Trillions of 2010 US Dollars)

Mental Health conditions




Cardiovascular Disease


Chronic Respiratory Disease






*based on EPIC model | Download the report: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_EconomicNonCommunicableDiseasesIndia_Report_2014.pdf

Contribution (%) of Diseases to the Lost Economic Output for India, 2012-2030:

In noncommunicable diseases, Mental health conditions (22%) and cardiovascular disease (47%) are the largest categories, followed by chronic respiratory disease (21%). The losses attributable to diabetes and cancer are somewhat small in comparison.

A Social Media Initiative on Mental Health – Satyamev Jayate Season 3: Nurturing Mental Illness:

  • According to a recent research (2013-2014), every one out of four patient that visited their family doctor, had mental illness. 8-12% people require psychiatric treatment. 40-50% of the people affected don't take treatment at all.
  • In the age group of 15-30, what kills most people in India after road accidents are suicides.

Source: http://www.satyamevjayate.in/nurturing-mental-health/episode-5watchvideo.aspx?uid=s3e5-ev-v1&lang=hindi 

 Depressive Disorder in Indian Context:

  • A recent large samples survey (2014) with rigorous methodology reported an overall prevalence of 15.9% for depression, which is similar to western figure.
  • Indian patients with depression appears to have a high prevalence of physical or somatic symptoms compared to western settings. Somatic symptoms such as body aches or vague pains are one of commonest manifestation of depression in India.

Source: http://www.japi.org/september_2014/09_ra_depressive_disorders.pdf

India: Millions Depressed: (2011)

  • The study, said while around nine percent of people in India reported having an extended period of depression within their lifetime, incidents of Major Depressive Episodes (MDE) were highest among Indians at 35.9 percent.
  • China, a comparable large country, recorded the lowest with 12 percent.
  • The National Crimes Records Bureau states that of the 127,151 recorded suicides in 2009, 8,469 were linked to serious mental illness.
  • "Mental illness" accounted for 39.2 percent suicides in Ludhiana, 34.2 percent in Kochi and 31.3 percent in Amritsar," the bureau observed

Source: http://www.ipsnews.net/2011/09/india-10-million-depressed-on-the-optimistic-side/ 

 "In mental health, India has a serious problem on its hands": (Sep 2014)

  • A World Health Organisation (WHO) report on suicides (2000-2012) puts India right on top of the list in Southeast Asia.
  • 10.9% people commit suicide every year in India. That's a large number considering India's population of 1.2 Billion
  • WHO statistics say the average suicide rate in India is 10.9 for every lakh people.




  • Mental illness is common today in India, though largely unidentified and untreated. Of late with better education and activism society is accepting it as an illness that can be cured.
  • There are several companies serving needs of the Depression market. Although there are many different Anti-Depressants available with more than 100 brands – yet there is large need for medicines for MDD. Hence there is an unmet need.
  • Historically people have not been generally consulting a psychiatrist in India and many of those who do don't take treatment at all. This situation is rapidly changing due to several studies, mass media, social media and activism; government programs, society's acceptance at large – due to reducing stigma to mental illnesses etc.


      - This blog  is brought to you by Rashveen Kulkarni, Aagami Market Research Team