Two essential anti-diabetic medications—Sitagliptin-Metformin combination and Linagliptin-Metformin combination—have been placed under price control by India’s drug pricing authority. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has set retail prices for 45 drug formulations, including the two anti-diabetic medications (NPPA).
Since Merck Sharp and Dohme’s (MSD) Sitagliptin patent expired last month, several generic versions of the drug have entered the market. The NPPA’s action aims to give consumers access to the advantages of price reduction. Currently, a blister pack of the Sitagliptin-Metformin combination costs about £345 and contains 15 tablets. The NPPA has lowered the cost of each tablet to between 16 and 21 pounds. Since Sitagliptin’s patent expired, about 40 companies have introduced—or plan to introduce—generic versions of the well-known diabetes medications Januvia and Janumet (Sitagliptin) in the domestic market.
The dipeptidyl peptidase four inhibitors (DPP4i) category’s gold standard is Sitagliptin. The cost of the Linagliptin-Metformin combination, which is scheduled to go off patent the following year, has also decreased to a range of $16 to $25 per tablet. The cost of a 2.5 mg Linagliptin-metformin tablet has been set at €16.17, while the price of a 5 mg tablet containing the same ingredients will be €25.33.
According to Anoop Misra, chairman of Fortis CDoc, a multi-specialty hospital in Delhi, 30% of people with type-II diabetes are prescribed gliptin drugs like Sitagliptin, Linagliptin, and Vildagliptin, so diabetes patients stand to gain from the decision. These can lower blood sugar and have almost no adverse side effects. According to Misra, they are accommodating for older adults because they do not cause significant hypoglycemia.
Earlier, an NPPA expert panel had recommended lowering the cost of medications whose patents have expired or are about to do so. On August 24, the NPPA received a notification regarding pricing. The suggested retail price for a tablet containing Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride, Phenylephrine Hydrochloride, Caffeine, and Paracetamol, which is used to treat common cold symptoms, has been set at 3.73.