Company: Eli Lilly
2016 U.S. sales: $738 million
Drug class: GLP-1
Eli Lilly’s Trulicity may not have the heart-helping data its GLP-1 rival Victoza has, but the once-a-week drug has been snatching up market share nonetheless. For the week ending May 19, Trulicity’s new-to-brand share increased by 73 basis points worldwide, and its total prescription share shot up by 54 basis points, according to Barclays analysts.
That share-stealing trend helped the medication post a huge year-over-year leap in U.S. sales in 2016. In 2015, its first full year on the market, Trulicity reeled in just $207.7 million. Growth of the GLP-1 class in general helped in that department too, Lilly said.
In the GLP-1 space, Trulicity is up against a Novo Nordisk foe in Victoza, which has shown it can lower the combined risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death among high-risk patients. But unlike Trulicity, Victoza is dosed daily. The Danish drugmaker has a weekly candidate on the way in semaglutide, and an outcomes trial suggested that medication can cut cardiovascular risks, too.
Trulicity last year got a data boost of its own, however, showing it could top Sanofi insulin giant Lantus in measures ranging from A1C reduction to weight loss. With that showing under its belt, Lilly turned right around and inked a pay-for-performance deal with Harvard Pilgrim.