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MSD leads rapidly growing antidiabetic DPP-4 inhibitors market
  • By Kim Yun-mi
  • Published 2019.02.15 14:31
  • Updated 2019.02.15 14:31
  • comments 0

MSD took the No. 1 position in sales of antidiabetic dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors in the 500 billion won ($443.2 million) local market last year, industry data showed. The MSD’s Januvia lineup (Januvia, Janumet, Janumet XR) posted over 150 billion won outpatient prescriptions.

MSD’s antidiabetic treatments Januvia and Janumet

According to UBIST data, MSD’s antidiabetic medicines took up about one-third of the total sales of DDP-4 inhibitors, selling 153.6 billion won in 2018.

Monotherapy Januvia (ingredient: sitagliptin) sold 43.3 billion won last year, almost unchanged from the previous year. Combination drug Janumet which mixed metformin recorded 69.5 billion won prescriptions, inching up 2.4 percent from a year earlier. Janumet ranked first in sales among combo drugs.

Sustained treatment Janumet XR posted 40.8 billion won prescriptions last year, surging 9.6 percent from a year earlier.

The second place went to Boehringer Ingelheim’s Trajenta (linagliptin) families that sold 112 billion won in 2018, up 2.8 percent from a year earlier. Trajenta sold 56.6 billion won, topping the monotherapy market. Trajenta Duo, which combined linagliptin with metformin, sold 55.4 billion won.

MSD and Boehringer Ingelheim were the only two pharmaceuticals that sold more than 100 billion won DPP-4 drugs in the local DPP-4 inhibitor market.

LG Chem ranked third by recording 85.6 billion won annual prescriptions of Zemiglo (gemigliptin) and Zemimet, up 16 percent year-on-year.

The UBIST data excluded sales of LG Chem’s Zemiro, a combo pill for the treatment of diabetes and dyslipidemia because it analyzed antidiabetic treatments only.

LG Chem aims to surpass the 100 billion won sales goal from gemigliptin-containing medicines including Zemiro this year.

Novartis’ Galvus lineup ranked fourth, although they were the only DPP-4 inhibitors that suffered a sales decline. Sales of all the other original DPP-4 inhibitors went up last year.

Galvus (vildagliptin) posted 9 billion won outpatient prescriptions, down 11.5 percent year-on-year. Combo drug Galvusmet also saw a 3.1 percent sale decline to post 35.1 billion won.

The decrease in Galvus prescriptions is attributed to a recent controversy about the DPP-4 inhibitor’s side effects.

Researchers at CHA University said DPP-4 inhibitors were associated with an increased risk of developing “bulbous pseudo-pemphigus,” based on data registered at the National Health Insurance Service from January 2012 to December 31, 2016.

Among the DPP-4 inhibitors in use in Korea, vildagliptin was associated with the highest risk of the disease in male patients, they said.

The study was published on the online version of JAMA Dermatology on Jan. 9.

Takeda’s Nesiana group, which came in the fifth place, recorded 32.4 billion won sales last year, growing about 12 percent from a year earlier.

Monotherapy Nesina (alogliptin) sold 14.7 billion won, up 2.2 percent. Combo drug Nesina Act in the thiazolidinediones class sold over 10 billion won, rising 17 percent. Nesinamet, a combo with metformin, also showed a solid 26.3 percent growth to reach 8 billion won sales last year.

The No. 6 position went to Handok’s Tenelia lineup posted 29.8 billion won annual prescriptions, up 26.7 percent year-on-year. Monotherapy Tenelia (tenegliptin) and combo therapy Tenelia M sold 14.7 billion won and 15 billion won, respectively, last year.


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