India's gliptin market ready for a shakeup by Zydus at 11 U.S. cents a pill

India's Zydus Cadila could be about to shake up the India market for diabetes drugs with its Nov. 20 launch of Tenglyn (teneligliptin) for controlling hypoglycemia associated with the Type 2 version of the disease.

The drug is the latest in a new class of gliptin antidiabetic drugs, popular because they are taken orally instead of through injections. When gliptins entered the India market, they cost nearly INR45, or 65 U.S. cents, per pill.

Zydus Deputy Managing Director Sharvil Patel said in a press release that his company decided to price its entrant at about INR7, 11 U.S. cents, a pill, because it felt the drug was an important treatment for diabetics, so it should be affordable and accessible to all Indian patients.

Zydus Deputy Managing Director Sharvil Patel

Zydus already had another diabetes treatment on the market, its Lipaglyn (saroglitazar) for treating two forms of diabetes, but no gliptin. India counts nearly 65 million diabetics, according to the press release.

Patel said India in particular faces the twin challenges of accessibility and affordability of medicines, so Zydus decided to provide Tenglyn at the most affordable cost, about one-sixth of some of the other gliptins.

There was no immediate response by other gliptin makers, such as Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, which prices its own teneligliptin drug at INR20, or 30 U.S. cents, a pill.

- here's the release from Zydus Cadila (PDF)
- and a story from Times of India
- and one from Business Standard