More than 220 New Medicines in Development for Diabetes


By K. Ashwin Mob: 00919920183006 E-mail:

Patients battling diabetes and associated complication may benefit from new therapies that target key abnormalities of the pancreatic cells, increase insulin secretion without significantly reducing blood sugar, have reduced dosage, minimize painful nerve damage and prevent diabetic kidney disease, if early research pans out.

A report released by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) say that America’s biopharmaceutical research companies currently are developing 221 innovative new medicines to help the nearly 347 million patients affected by diabetes, including India which is known as the diabetes capital of the world.

These medicines in development – all in either clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – include 32 for type 1 diabetes, 130 for type 2 and 64 for diabetes-related conditions.

“Many of the human and economic costs associated with diabetes can be avoided, making improvement of patient adherence one of the best opportunities to get better results and greater value from our health care system,” said PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani. “This is by no means an easy task, but stakeholders throughout the health care system – including biopharmaceutical research companies – must work together to tackle this shared objective.”

Examples of new cutting-edge approaches to fight diabetes in the pipeline include a once-daily medicine that selectively inhibits the protein associated with glucose metabolism, a medicine designed to inhibit an enzyme linked to diabetic neuropathy and a medicine to treat type 2 diabetes that may allow for once-weekly dosing.

Since 1990, six new classes of diabetes type 2 medicines have been approved by FDA, giving patients and providers powerful new tools to treat the condition. America’s biopharmaceutical research companies continue to explore many different approaches to battle diabetes.

India alone has 61.3 million people living with diabetes, second to China according to International Diabetes Federation (IDF). The prevalence is expected to rise sharply for a variety of reasons, including an aging population more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and longer lifespan among diabetes patients. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to severe health problems and complications, such as heart disease, stroke, vision loss and amputation.

The last two decades have witnessed steady improvements in diabetes management across the world. Today, most blockbuster drugs are available within a year of their global launch in countries where industry friendly policies exist.

Improved adherence to diabetes medications can lead to better health outcomes and reduced costs. A recent study in Health Affairs projected that improved adherence to diabetes medications could avert more than one million emergency room visits and close to 620,000 hospitalizations annually, for a total potential savings of $8.3 billion annually.

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