There is now hope for patients suffering from diabetes to see a working pill instead of the injection treatment, within their lifetime. Drug producers are waging a war on prices and every step forward is welcome for patients with diabetes, as this disease is spreading like wildfire.
There is a growing interest for new technologies and this can differentiate one producer from another. Novo Nordisk, the biggest player in the diabetes treatment market, is investing in drugs that come in the form of a pill, instead of the injection.
At the same time, Google and Sanofi are trying to start a 500 million dollar venture, which combines software and medicine to help sufferers cope with diabetes.
Researchers are also working on artificial pancreases which could one day replace the invalid organ or ‘smart patches’ which can deliver insulin.
The market is getting crowded, and to differentiate, companies are required more than just the best insulin – according to Stefan Oehrich – head of Sanofi.
The future in diabetes is a personalized solution. With demand on the rise for better treatments, drug developers are doing their best to come up with solutions. In 2040, over 640 million people across the world will have diabetes. Most of them will develop a form that starts in later life, because of poor nutrition and inactive lifestyles.
This month, drug makers are attending the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Munich. They are looking for novel ways of inciting growth, as many copycat medicines mean fewer sales for original products.
Some companies are looking into smartphone apps to track doses and help patients cope with the disease.
But the big question is whether companies will obtain a tablet form of insulin? – according to Simon O’Neill, director of health intelligence at Diabetes UK. Companies in the diabetes industry have long been trying to shift from an injection to a pill form. Novo is testing an oral version of GLP-1, a drug that can stimulate the pancreas and previously came only as an injection.
Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc, from Israel, is also trying to make its own brand of oral insulin.
These drugs will enter late-stage trials in 2017. The only way for companies to keep prices for original medicines high is to continuously innovate – according to Lars Rebien Soerensen, from Denmark’s Novo Nordisk.
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