Top diabetes drug patent closed, prices drop by 3 – Times of India

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Mumbai: Good news for diabetics, a cheaper version of a blockbuster drug Januvia (sitagliptin) – hit the market on Wednesday, and more are expected soon.
The growing anti-diabetic market of around Rs 17,000 crore is seeing action with the US firm’s generic versions. MerckIndia’s blockbuster Januvia is being launched, which has reduced the cost of therapy by a third. That’s on the heels of the relatively new but important anti-diabetic drug sitagliptin, losing patent protection in July.
Importantly, the generic versions of the drug are expected to be priced in the range of Rs 8-18 per day, which is lower than the current Rs 45 per day therapy in the market by Merck, experts told TOI.
Diabetes is rapidly attaining a potential epidemic status in India with over 74 million cases, and a large uncontrolled diabetes population. Access to affordable drugs could help improve access
Sitagliptin is considered the ‘better’ molecule with global sales of over $5 billion. The market size for this in India is around Rs 3,600 crore.
Generic versions of some major companies – including Dr Reddy’s, Glenmark, Sun Pharma and JB Chemicals — will hit the market this week. In addition, 50-100 firms including Cipla, Torrent, zydus cadillalupine and alkemo We are preparing a plan to get a piece of the action, experts told TOI.
Several companies have informed TOI about their launch plans. “Glenmark has just recently launched sitagliptin and its combination sitagliptin-+metformin under the brand names SITAZIT 50mg and SITAZIT 100mg. It costs about a third as compared to its innovator brand (Januvia),” said an official.
Dr Reddy’s Spokesperson said, “Dr Reddy’s Stig will be one of the most affordable priced options.
Kirti Ganorkar, CEO, India Business, Sun Pharma, said, “To further enhance the reach, we are now making it available at a more affordable price point.” Significantly, until now Sun Pharma was marketing Merck’s drug Januvia.

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