Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in India is among the highest in the world with more than 28 million cases in 2007. Prevalence will grow more rapidly in India than in any other developing or developed nation, climbing to more than 60 million cases by 2017.
The new Emerging Markets report entitled Type 2 Diabetes in India, forecasts that the Indian type 2 diabetes drug market will double from $504 million in 2007 to more than $1.1 billion by 2012. This growth will be fueled by rising disease prevalence, increasing wealth and growing awareness of the disease and diabetic complications.
"Although awareness of type 2 diabetes has increased thanks to the efforts of public health officials and Indian and Western pharmaceutical companies, the low rate of diagnosis continues to be a challenge for physicians," said Donny Wong, Ph.D., Principal Analyst at Decision Resources. "Clinicians we interviewed emphasized that it is imperative to encourage at-risk persons to seek medical attention and to improve screening practices in India so that patients can be identified long before they develop diabetic complications."
The report also finds that widespread poverty puts treatment with Western branded drugs out of reach of most Indians, who rely instead on ayurvedic medicines (traditional and ancient Indian herbal medicine) or low-cost generics manufactured by Indian companies. Although many companies price their drugs according to the local market, most of the newest therapies, especially the insulin analogues, are too expensive for all but the burgeoning urban upper and upper-middle classes.
"Merck has priced Januvia at a considerable discount relative to its U.S. price--Rs 42 or $1.00 per day of therapy," added Dr. Wong. "However, even this price represents 13 percent of an average worker's daily wages and 64 percent of a minimum-wage earner's pay."
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