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Merck & Co.’s Diabetes Products in 3Q17

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Merck’s diabetes products

Merck & Co.’s (MRK) diabetes products consist of blockbuster drugs Januvia and Janumet. Both drugs help control blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The above chart compares revenues for Januvia and Janumet over the last eight quarters.

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Januvia and Janumet

A DPP-4 enzyme is a Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 enzyme that removes incretin from the human body in routine cases, except for people with type 2 diabetes. Januvia and Janumet are DPP-4 inhibitors that help lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The combined revenues for Januvia and Janumet decreased 2% at constant exchange rates to $1.52 billion in 3Q17 compared to $1.55 billion in 3Q16. The decrease was driven by lower sales of Janumet during the quarter.

Januvia reported a marginal increase in 3Q17 sales to $1.012 billion in 3Q17 compared to $1.006 billion in 3Q16. Janumet reported a 6% decline in sales to $513 million in 3Q17 compared to $548 million in 3Q16.

There are a few other drugs available in the market for lowering blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. They include Onglyza, co-developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and AstraZeneca (AZN); Kombiglyze from AstraZeneca’s portfolio; and a few more.

The Guggenheim Russell Top 50 Mega Cap ETF (XLG) holds 14.9% of its total investments in healthcare companies. It holds 1.4% in Merck (MRK), 0.9% in Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), 3.4% in Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and 1.9% in Pfizer (PFE).

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