Sales of antidiabetic drugs using sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT-2) inhibitor increased by about 40 percent in Korea last year compared to 2017, industry data showed.
While sales of SGLT-2 inhibitors as monotherapies expanded 22 percent, those of combination drugs of SGLT-2 inhibitors with metformin spiked 180 percent.
According to UBIST data in 2017 and 2018, the total outpatient prescriptions of SGLT-2 inhibitors recorded 64.9 billion won ($57.7 million) in 2018, up 40 percent from 46.52 billion won in 2017.
The data did not include that of MSD’s Steglatro (ertugliflozin), which arrived here in late 2018, because prescriptions in November and December were too small.
Pharmaceutical firms sold 50.4 billion won worth monotherapies of SGLT-2 inhibitors last year, up 22 percent from 2017. AstraZeneca’s Forxiga (dapagliflozin) topped the sales among the monotherapies.
Forxiga, which initiated the SGLT-2 inhibitor market, sold 27.49 billion won last year, up 6.7 percent.
Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance ranked second with 65.3 percent revenue growth. The treatment’s outpatient prescriptions marked 20.5 billion won last year, exceeding the 20 billion won mark for the first time.
Astellas’ Suglat (ipragliflozin), which came in third, posted 2.34 billion won prescriptions last year, a 25.3 percent decline compared to 2017.
While all the other SGLT-2 inhibitors were on the rise in sales, Suglat was the only treatment that suffered a sales decline. In the combo treatment market, AstraZeneca’s SGLT-2 inhibitors performed well.
Xigduo, which is the combo of Forxiga and metformin, posted 12.09 billion won sales in 2018, surging 138.3 percent from 2017.
In just two years after the market release in late 2016, Xigduo’s revenue exceeded the 10 billion won mark.
Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance Duo, which arrived in Korea in late 2017, is also showing a rapid sales increase. The treatment sold 2.4 billion won last year, about half of Xigduo’s 5 billion won revenue.
Supported by brisk sales of Xigduo and Jardiance Duo, the size of the local combination treatment market reached 14.5 billion won in two years after the first introduction of a combo drug.
AstraZeneca posted nearly 40 billion won outpatient prescriptions of Forxiga and Xigduo, comfortably outpacing Boehringer Ingelheim’s 23 billion won prescriptions of Jardiance and Jardiance Duo.
AstraZeneca’s lead in the local SGLT-2 inhibitor market is attributed to its partnership with a local pharmaceutical firm.
AstraZeneca has teamed up with Daewoong Pharmaceutical to sell Forxiga and Xigduo early this year jointly. In the past, Daewoong used to sell Astellas’ Suglat.
After Daewoong left Astellas for AstraZeneca, AstraZeneca’s Xigduo sales continued to go up while that of Astellas’ Suglat under the sales partnership with Handok went down this year.
Boehringer Ingelheim is collaborating with Yuhan Corp. to sell Jardiance and Jardiance Duo.
MSD, which entered the SGLT-2 inhibitor market late last year, is working with Chong Kun Dang to sell Steglatro jointly.