Germany-based pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim will be rolling out its diabetes drug in India at an "India-friendly" price in October-November.
Jardiance (empagliflozin), will cost Rs 45 for a day's therapy, roughly Rs 1,300 per month. The drug competes with newer drugs in the fast-growing Rs 1,500 crore anti-diabetes market. The anti-diabetes market is fifth largest therapy in the domestic retail market, at nearly Rs 7,400 crore and growing at a strong 25% (MAT August, AIOCD).
Jardiance will join two new drugs in the same class, called SGLT2 inhibitors - Johnson & Johnson's Invokana and AstraZeneca's Farxiga, launched earlier this year. "It is an extremely important launch for us, in a significant size of the market. This is our second major innovator drug in diabetes, after the launch of Tragenta which had hit the retail shelves in 2012," Tyagi said, adding the company may enter into a marketing alliance later. "At this point, we will be doing it on our own. We have already doubled the field force in diabetes therapy to 400 people," he added.
SGLT2 inhibitor drug class is becoming popular because in addition to controlling diabetes, it leads to modest weight loss and lower blood pressure. In India, the market is valued at Rs 16 crore, with a growth of 38% in August, over the previous month. The new drug will also compete with Boehringer's other diabetes drug, Tragenta, but Tyagi said there will be no cannibalization as both drugs address different needs of diabetics. In fact, Jardiance is priced similar to Tragenta.