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Will Double Turnover With Anti-Diabetic Bet, Says Boehringer Ingelheim

German pharma major Boehringer Ingelheim has seen a 45.4 per cent compound growth rate over the past five years in its anti-diabetic portfolio in India. Now, as its key molecules are nearing patent expiry in the segment, the company has adopted a two-pronged strategy — consolidate the current base and double the turnover before the molecules lose patents and bring in the global novel drug pipeline to India to fuel the next phase of growth.

Boehringer Ingelheim’s two key diabetes molecules — linagliptin and empagliflozin — are set for patent expires in 2023 and 2025, respectively. Its Empagliflozin brand Jardiance has clocked 157.8 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past five-year period, according to AIOCD AWACS data.

Boehringer has expanded its field force to 570 representatives to boost their diabetes medicine sales that contributes nearly 75 per cent of the company’s turnover.

“Our intent is to grow much faster than the market. Patent are expiries are important events coming up. We are working strategically and also watching the vildagliptin patent expiry and how the various strategies employed by companies are working in the market,” said Sharad Tyagi, managing director of Boehringer Ingelheim India.

When a drug goes off patent, the market usually expands as more doctors start prescribing the drug as prices become competitive. By the time linagliptin patent expires, vildagliptin and sitagliptin (two diabetes drugs) would have lost their patents and the market would become really big, Tyagi said. “We need to see what are the price elasticity and the scientific benefits we still have. The brands develop and create loyalty among the stakeholders, be it the physicians or the patients,” he said.

It is focused on just 10 brands in India, of which five are in diabetes, two are in oncology, and the rest are in pulmonary (lung disease) and cardiac and stroke prevention and management.

“We are not growing the number of brands from a branded generic perspective. We are clear that we will focus on our innovative pipeline,” he said, adding that over the next three to four years Boehringer would focus on consolidating the base from its current position.-Business Standard

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