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GLP-1 Drug Class May Continue to Drive Growth for Novo Nordisk


Mar. 5 2018, Updated 9:04 a.m. ET

GLP-1 growth trends

According to IQVIA (formerly IMS), glucagon-like peptide (or GLP-1) products currently account for only a 12% share of the global diabetes care market by value. IQVIA has also estimated that the global GLP-1 market value has increased at a CAGR (compound average growth rate) of 33% from November 2012 to November 2017.

The GLP-1 class of drugs accounts for a 14%, 11%, 3%, 5%, 5%, and 1% share of the diabetes care market in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Oceania, Japan and Korea, Latin America, and China, respectively.

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The above diagram shows the mechanism of action of GLP-1 therapies in lowering blood glucose in greater detail. Novo Nordisk’s (NVO) Victoza is the leading GLP-1 product in the world, and it competes with other drugs in the GLP-1 class such as AstraZeneca’s (AZN) Byetta and Bydureon, Eli Lilly’s (LLY) Trulicity, and GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Tanzeum.

According to IQVIA, GLP-1 products account for a ~6% share of diabetes patients in North America and 5% in Europe. These statistics highlight the growth opportunity available for this class of diabetes drugs.

Untapped potential for GLP-1s

According to IQVIA, only 53% of patients who are on oral antidiabetics (or OADs) in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined have HbA1c (hemoglobin A1c) levels of lower than the required 7%. The remaining 47% have poor glycemic control despite being on OADs such as metformin, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (or DPP4) inhibitors, sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (or SGLT2) inhibitors, or sulfonylurea.

According to IQVIA data, almost 51% of the new-to-brand prescription share (or NBRx) for the GLP-1 market comes from patients switching from OADs, while 30% comes from patients switching from insulin therapies. Only 9% switch from other GLP-1 therapies, while 5% use a combination of insulin and GLP-1 therapies. Only 5% of the new-to-brand prescription share in the GLP-1 market is made up of treatment-naïve diabetic patients.

In the next article, we’ll discuss growth prospects for Victoza in greater detail.


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