Steep fall in price of diabetes drug Sitagliptin soon as patent term ends

Representational image.

New Delhi: Sitagliptin, widely used in the treatment of diabetes, would cost a mere one-third of the present price as the patent period of the drug is ending. Subsequently, one tablet would cost Rs 8-21 depending on the manufacturer instead of the current price of Rs 38-45.

Considering the end of the patent period, Merck – the US-based multinational drug firm which held the patent – had recently released the generic version of citagliptin.

Soon, the company Glenmark announced the drug in India. Other Indian medicine manufacturers such as Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy’s and J B Chemicals also informed that that the diabetes medication will be made available in the country at a low cost. These products are expected to reach Indian markets within a week.

Sitagliptin is administered to patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes. The drug is a crucial medication in situations where a patient does not respond to other medicines or develops side-effects to them.

The drug, developed by Merck, had received clearance for use in the US in 2005.

It is grouped among medicines which enhance the body’s ability to control hypertension. Merck had also marketed another drug which is a combination of Sitagliptin and metformin. This medicine was sold in India by Sun Pharma under an agreement with Merck.

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