Forecast: oral diabetics market will triple within five years

November 1, 1997

Pharmaceutical Representative

The oral diabetic market will more than triple within the next five years, according to a new forecast from consultants at The Plymouth Group, Somerset, NJ.

The oral diabetic market will more than triple within the next five years, according to a new forecast from consultants at The Plymouth Group, Somerset, NJ.

In "Diabetes Insight '97," an assessment of the diabetes market, the company's consultants state that new, orally administered therapies will quickly gain acceptance with non-insulin dependent diabetics currently treating themselves with insulin injections.

As the products prove to be effective, more diabetics will trust them to replace their insulin injections. And if taking pills proves to be more convenient and preferable than injecting insulin, patients may increase their compliance.

"Compliance is rated the most difficult problem in the treatment of diabetes, primarily because of patient reticence toward insulin injections," explained Myron Holubiak, general manager of The Plymouth Group.

As a result, sales for the therapies may grow at an annual compounded rate of 28% before reaching $3.5 billion by the year 2002. Currently, the oral diabetic market is valued at approximately $1 billion.

Increased sales of oral medications during the last two years support the group's prediction.

The study also noted that the introduction of new products such as Rezulin, an oral thiazolidinedione therapy from Parke-Davis, and Humalog, a short-acting insulin injectable manufactured by Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals, prompted the American Diabetic Association to issue new guidelines.

The guidelines identify eight million undiagnosed diabetic Americans and recommend more testing, a lower cut-off point for diabetes definition and faster treatment - all of which add up to a favorable marketing environment for orally administered therapies.

"It's estimated that approximately 45% of adults over 65 have either diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance," Holubiak said. "The new oral therapies create enormous potential for treatment in this population group." PR

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