British Columbia's Pharmacare program stopped covering Merck's Januvia last week. Less expensive drugs in the same class were available to do the same job, officials reasoned; 35% less expensive, in fact. But Merck, obviously, disagreed with the choice. The drugmaker funded a survey about Januvia's delisting, via a grant to the Canadian Heart Research Centre
Back in April, Merck rolled out its America's Diabetes Challenge: Get to Your Goals campaign, aimed at persuading patients to do what it takes to keep their blood sugar in check. Now, Merck has a new-but-similar campaign launching, but with a tighter focus: the Hispanic community, which is disproportionately affected by the disease.
Best-selling drugs did well for themselves in 2013, churning out more than $76 billion in sales. But big-name brands could stand the test of time and help the top 10 rake in more than $80 billion in 2020, according to a new report.
On this list of the best-selling diabetes drugs, you will find a mix of the old and new. According to data from EvaluatePharma, one of the big dogs of big pharma data, these top 10 drugs had more than $28 billion in sales last year. All of them, even number 10, were blockbusters.
On the Big Pharma scorecard, Merck remains on a downward slide. Yes, third-quarter earnings beat estimates, but expectations were low, and it was cost-cutting that delivered the day. And though the Singulair drag on Merck's top line is easing up a bit--pulling overall sales back by 4%, rather than 9% in the first quarter--the Januvia malaise continues.
As it announced cuts to its full-year sales forecast in July, Merck was able to point to growth in sales of Januvia and its offshoots, if only in the low-single-digit range.
The group of drugs, known as incretin mimetics, was cleared last week by FDA's counterparts in Europe.
Merck cut its sales forecast and posted a 50% drop in quarterly earnings as it continues to absorb major hits to its once-blockbuster Singulair. The fact that profits beat analyst expectations says as much about those expectations as it does about Merck's performance for the quarter.
Merck's Indian unit won an injunction in a patent fight over its diabetes drugs Januvia and Janumet, blocking generic versions of the two drugs to be made by Indian drugmaker Aprica Pharmaceuticals.
The prevalence of diabetes is growing globally, and with that the size of the diabetes drug market. But the market has gotten increasingly competitive and increasingly complex. All of the top 10 best-selling drugs in the diabetes category are blockbusters, according to EvaluatePharma. So who makes them? Check out the report >>