Which diabetes meds lead fast-growing U.S. market?

Yesterday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued diabetes prevalence numbers that are, from a public-health standpoint, truly dismal: 25.8 million people in the U.S. have the disease, 8.3 percent of the population--and nine percent more than officials had expected when they predicted growth two years ago. More than a third of adults at least 20 years old have prediabetes, a big risk factor for full-blown disease.

The total diabetes market for the first half of 2010 amounted to $8.7 billion, enormous growth from 2005, when the full year's sales amounted to only $9.3 billion.

So, we figure it would be instructive to see which drugs are most successful at riding the diabetes wave these days. According to IMS Health (as cited by Daily Finance), the biggest-selling diabetes drug is Takeda Pharmaceuticals' drug Actos, which posted nearly $1.8 billion for the first half of 2010. Second in line? Sanofi-Aventis' Lantus drugs, with some $1.5 billion in sales, and Merck's Januvia, with $854 million. Novo Nordisk's Novolog and Eli Lilly's Humalog fill out the top five.

Class-wise, insulin analogs (Lantus, Novolog, et al.) still dominate, with 42 percent of the U.S. market. Glitazones (Actos and the recently restricted Avanda) account for 28 percent. DPP-4 inhibitors (Januvia and the Bristol-Myers Squibb/AstraZeneca drug Onglyza) own 14 percent.

- see the Los Angeles Times story
- get more from Daily Finance