MUMBAI: Good news for diabetics, cheaper versions of a successful drug – Januvia (Sitagliptin) – was out on the market on Wednesday, with more expectations shortly.
Growing diabetes market, worth around Rs 17,000 crore, is set to see action with generic versions of the US company MerckThe Januvia blockbuster is launched, cutting the cost of therapy by a third. This is on the heels of Sitagliptin, a relatively new but viable anti-diabetic drug, which lost patent protection in July.
Importantly, generic versions of the drug are expected to be priced between Rs 8-18 per day, down from the existing therapy of Rs 45 per day marketed by Merck, experts told TOI.
Diabetes is rapidly gaining the status of a potential epidemic in India with over 74 million cases and a huge undiagnosed diabetes population. The entry of affordable drugs could help improve accessibility
Sitagliptin is perceived as a “superior” molecule with global sales of over $ 5 billion. The market size for this in India is valued at around Rs 3,600 crore.
Generic versions of some large companies, including Dr Reddy’s, Glenmark, Sun Pharma and JB Chemicals, will hit the market this week. Additionally, 50-100 companies including Cipla, Torrent, Zido CadilaLupine and Alkem they are making plans to get a slice of the action, experts told TOI.
Several companies spoke to TOI about their launch plans. “Glenmark has just launched Sitagliptin and its Sitagliptin- + Metformin combination under the brands SITAZIT 50mg and SITAZIT 100mg. It is priced almost a third of its innovative brand (Januvia), “said an official.
A spokesperson for Dr Reddy said, Dr Reddy’s Stig will be among the most affordable options.
Kirti Ganorkar, CEO of Sun Pharma, said: “To further improve access, we are now making it available at a more affordable price.” It can be pointed out that Sun Pharma has been marketing Merck’s Januvia drug until now.

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