New diabetes drug cuts cost by 80%

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MUMBAI: Diabetics in the country have something to cheer about. A completely new drug in the 'gliptin' family has disrupted the anti-diabetes market by lowering the cost of therapy for patients by 80%. With the launch of the teneligliptin molecule, the popular gliptin category has witnessed a price erosion of over 80% in the last six months, bringing down the cost for a day's treatment from Rs 45 to an average daily price of Rs 9. What's more, over 15 companies are now offering it.

The cost of gliptin treatment amounted to Rs 16,200 per year (at Rs 1,350 per month). With the entry of the new molecule and subsequently aggressive pricing by domestic companies over the past six months, the cost of therapy has dropped to approximately Rs 3,285 a year (at Rs 270 a month), translating into national savings of roughly Rs 1,300 crore for patients. The new entrant teneligliptin is also the fastest selling in the Rs 1,430 crore gliptin family which occupies 20% of the total anti-diabetic market.

Teneligliptin, a third-generation new oral anti-diabetic drug manufactured by Mumbai-based Glenmark, received regulatory approval, and was priced aggressively at nearly Rs 20 for a day's therapy when it was first launched in June last year.

The launch of Zita Plus and Ziten (teneligliptin brands) by Glenmark paved the way for the entry of a host of players to launch the molecule in the oral diabetic market which is valued around Rs 6,000 crore, growing at a strong double-digit.

As per the AIOCD data (December 2015), there are 16 teneligliptin brands in the market, with total sales of Rs 36 crore. Diabetes is fast gaining the status of a potential epidemic in India with over 67 million individuals currently diagnosed with the disease (source: IDF 2014), while there is a huge undiagnosed diabetes population estimated around 35.4 million.


The economic burden of diabetes is high in India as most patients pay out-of-pocket, and due to lack of medical reimbursement.