10 Top-selling Diabetes Drugs - 2012


The prevalence of diabetes is growing globally, and with that the size of the diabetes drug market. There are more than 370 million people in the world with diabetes, about 90% of those with Type 2 diabetes. More children are developing the disease and more people are dying from diabetes, and so more and more people need treatment. Standard & Poor's has estimated the annual market will hit $58 billion by 2018, from about $35 billion today.

But the market has gotten increasingly competitive and increasingly complex. Just this year, we have seen the FDA ask Novo Nordisk ($NVO) for more risk data on its new long-lasting drug Tresiba, then revisit the safety profile of GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) Avandia, a drug that was pulled from the market in Europe and regulated into near irrelevance in the U.S. Regulators and the industry are now doing a deeper dive into the cancer risks of incretin mimetics, a group of drugs for Type 2 diabetes that includes blockbusters like Merck's ($MRK) Januvia and Novo Nordisk's Victoza.

Still, these and other drugs remain big sellers. In fact, all of the top 10 best-selling drugs in the diabetes category are blockbusters, according to EvaluatePharma. So who makes them? Not surprisingly, Novo makes half of the top sellers, but it does not make either of the two top sellers. Some of the top diabetes drugs have lost their patents or soon will, making room for new, different products in this lucrative category. The list follows. Give it a read and tell us what you think. Maybe go to our LinkedIn group and share your insights. We want to hear from you. -- Eric Palmer (email | Twitter)