With more patients shifting to new gliptins (a category of drugs) as they go off-patent, the national pharma pricing regulator has moved quickly to cap prices of two molecules Sitagliptin and Linagliptin and their combinations.


Around nine per cent of India’s 1.4 billion population has Type-2 diabetes, and this has crossed 11 per cent in few urban pockets. It is thus estimated that 100 million people in India have diabetes, but about half the Type-2 cases go undiagnosed.


Government sources reveal that the regulator is keeping a keen watch on prices, and also on the new category of drugs (gliptins and gliflozins) that are now going off-patent. “As generic brands enter the market, the competition is bringing the prices down. Thus patients, who could not afford these drugs earlier, are shifting. Therefore, it’s necessary to keep a tab on the prices,” said the official.


The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has capped the prices of these two drugs in the range of Rs 16-25 per tablet. While Sitagliptin and its combinations (with metformin etc) have been capped between Rs 16-21 per tablet, for linagliptin and its molecules it has been capped at Rs 16-25 per tablet. Linagliptin, a Boehringer Ingelheim drug, is set to go off-patent next year.


Sheetal Sapale, president-marketing, AWACS, a research and analytics firm explained that 5 per cent of Sitagliptin (plain doses) is captured already by generic brands within a month of this molecule going off patent. Around 27 players with 85 generic brands have already flooded the market, and over the next few months around 50 players with 100 sitagliptin and its combination brands are expected to hit the Indian market.


She says that prices have already crashed-–while the innovator price of Sitagliptin is Rs 36-45 per tablet, the generic brands are priced in the range of Rs 7-15. “The generic brands are one-third of the innovator prices. And there is also a large price range among generic brands-–the lowest priced one is half that of the highest priced generic brand,” she adds.


While many patients who can afford it may prefer to stay with the innovator brand, this patent expiry may also generate fresh prescriptions. People who are now on basic treatment using an old class of sulphonylurea drugs, and who have not opted for gliptins due to affordability concerns, may now shift to gliptins. Already drugs in this space, such as vildagliptin, teneligliptin have gone off patent.


Sitagliptin (plain) has clocked a 54 per cent jump in volumes in July over June, according to AWACS data, while there has been a value growth of 14 per cent.


The overall anti-diabetes market has declined by one per cent during the past 12 months (up to July), but in July alone, there has been a value growth of 12.7 percent owing to this one drug going off patent.


The churn in the diabetes market started some years back when in 2015 Teneligliptin lost its patent around 2015 and Glenmark was the first Indian firm to launch the drug at a 55 per cent lower price. Following Glenmark’s generic entry, several other players stormed the market leading to a price war. In December 2019, Novartis’ novel drug vildagliptin lost its patent, following which a slew of generic brands entered the market, resulting in a sharp price drop of 70 percent within a month or so.












Overall

Sitagliptin

Sitagliptin +Metformin combination

Players

27

27

27

Brands

85

34

36

MSD (MRP/tablet)

Rs 36-45

Rs 20-23

Others

Rs 9-21

Rs 12-21



Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor





Source link

By fintax360

We Fintax360 team simplify finances and taxes for millions of Indian businesses and people. We educate them about finances, taxes and improve their relationship with money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: