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[New Year Special] Natural stomach drugs get popular after ranitidine ban
  • By Jeong Sae-im
  • Published 2020.01.07 16:12
  • Updated 2020.01.07 16:12
  • comments 0

In the wake of the ranitidine recall, other antiulcer “tidine-class” drugs, proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), and various mucosal protective agents have enjoyed sales growth, industry data showed.

Artemisia extract-based drugs, led by Dong-A ST’s Stillen Tab., recorded a particularly rapid sales expansion in two months after the ranitidine ban.

According to U-BIST data, sales of antiulcer medications containing artemisia extracts rose significantly after the ranitidine ban in September.

Stillen, the original drug that contains artemisia extract, is used for the treatment of gastritis. Its mechanism enhances the mucosal lining of the stomach from acidic gastric juices. The mechanism is different from that of ranitidine, which blocks gastric acid secretion.

If a patient takes a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), he or she cannot get insurance benefits for preventive medicine for gastritis. However, data showed that physicians switched prescriptions of some ranitidine drugs for gastritis to artemisia extract agents.

Prescriptions of Dong-A ST’s Stillen 2X (Stillen in high dose) rose from 1.29 billion won ($1.1 million) in October to 1.39 billion won in November. The November sales were up 63 percent, compared to a year earlier.

The combined prescriptions of Stillen and Stillen 2X in the first 11 months of 2019 recorded 19.3 billion won, which was nearly the annual prescriptions of 19.5 billion won a year earlier. The combined sales of Stillen and Stillen 2X in 2019 are expected to surpass the previous year’s record easily.

Other artemisia extract products became popular, too. Daewon Pharmaceutical’s Otillen F and Jeil Pharm’s Nexilen family drugs also saw their prescriptions increase in October and November. Monthly prescription of Wooridul Pharm’s Arcidine jumped five folds from 50 million won in September to 250 million won in November. Year on year, the November sales were 779 percent up. The monthly prescription of Daewoong Bio’s Bearen also climbed nearly four times to over 200 million won in November.

Other mucosal protective drugs also benefited from the ranitidine withdrawal, although not as much as artemisia extract products.

Rebamipide is a mucosal protective agent used for gastric ulcer and improvement of gastric mucosal lesions in acute or chronic gastritis. Its indication overlaps with that of ranitidine. Korea Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s original drug Mucosta is leading the rebamipide market. Mucosta’s monthly outpatient prescriptions went up 11 percent to 1.52 billion won in November, compared to September. It was an 11.6 percent increase compared to a year earlier.

Kyungdong Pharma’s Rebamide, CMG Pharm’s Remipid, and Daehan New Pharm’s Mucoran achieved two-digit year-on-year growth in prescriptions since the ranitidine ban.

SK Chemical’s Promac, using polaprezinc as the ingredient, saw its monthly prescriptions exceed 1 billion won for the first time in October and November.

Mosapride, a gastroprokinetic agent, also fared well. Mosapride accelerates gastrointestinal motility and improves digestive symptoms such as vomiting due to functional dyspepsia.

As Daewoong Pharmaceutical had to stop selling Albis due to the ranitidine ban, it decided to promote Nexium (PPI) and Gasmotin (mosapride).

The monthly prescription of Korea United Pharm’s Gastiin CR, which leads the mosapride market, increased to 1.87 billion won in November, up 38.5 percent from a year earlier. During the same period, that of Daewoong’s Gasmotin SR surged 44.7 percent to 680 million won.

Except for Dongkook Pharm’s Mosapron, prescriptions of other mosapride products inched up slightly or maintained the status quo. Some others suffered sales declines. Gastiin CR and Gasmotin SR, which were incrementally modified drugs (IMDs), benefited the most among the same-class drugs.

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