Along with the steadily increasing number of diabetics, sale of anti-diabetic medicines, including insulin, has zoomed in India, says a study.
The findings led by Anoop Misra, Chairman at Fortis C-DOC Hospital, showed that from Rs 151.2 crore in 2008, the sale of insulin (especially newer insulin) rose to Rs 842 crore in 2016.
Sales of oral drug (especially newer ones) also went up from Rs 278.5 crores in 2013 to Rs 700 crore in 2016.
On the other hand, the affordability and accessibility of the anti-diabetic therapy to lower socio-economic strata remained inadequate, the study said.
"Increasing sales of high cost medications as shown by our data are particularly worrisome since most Indians pay out of their pocket and nearly seven percent experience catastrophic expenditure for diabetes," Misra said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of adults suffering from diabetes has risen from 4.7 percent of the global population in 1980 to 8.5 percent in 2014.
In 2015, the disease touted as lifestyle epidemic affected 415 million people worldwide while there were 69.1 million people with diabetes in India -- the second highest in the world after China, which had 109 million people, according to the report "Diabetes Atlas" released by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
"India has to take several stringent measures to ensure that there is a balancing mechanism in place, education of physicians, tighter regulations on price control and stricter norms for pharmaceutical companies around new drugs and marketing ethics," Misra added.
The research was based on the data of sales trends from all top selling drugs (20 brands) for the past nine years (between December 2008 and December 2016), with emphasis on anti-diabetic drugs.