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New Delhi: A recent study revealed that there has been a substantial escalation in the overall cost of treating diabetes in the country.
As per the study, sales of insulin have increased from Rs 218.7 crore to Rs 467.8 crore between 2012 and 2014. The study claimed primary reasons for this escalation includes reduced physicians' tendency to prescribe insulin to diabetics, more diabetics having complications and aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies.
A study on the nationwide trends in the sales of anti-diabetic oral drugs and insulin was led by Dr Prof Anoop Misra, chairperson, Fortis C-DOC Hospital for Diabetes and Allied Specialities and president, National Diabetes Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (N-DOC), The research aimed to study the sales trends of all top selling drugs (20 brands) for the past nine years (between Dec. 2008 and Dec. 2016), with emphasis on anti-diabetic drugs.
It found that from 2008 to 2012, sales of insulin increased from Rs 151.2 crore to Rs 218.7 crores (44 per cent growth).
"In this context, it is important to note that chronic kidney disease due to diabetes is more prevalent among Asian Indians, and increasingly being diagnosed, necessitating insulin therapy in several patients," as per the study.
According to the study, between 2014 and 2016, sales of insulin continued to see an upward trend from Rs 467.8 crore to Rs 842 crore (80 per cent increase) due to availability of new basal insulin and newer premix insulin to armamentarium.
"Our study shows that there is an escalation in the overall cost of treating diabetes in India. While there is also a rise in the usage of newer oral drugs and insulin analogues, affordability and accessibility of anti-diabetic therapy to socio-economic stratum remains inadequate.
India has to take several stringent measures to ensure that there is a balancing mechanism in place, education of physicians, tighter regulations on price control and stricter norms for pharmaceutical companies around new drugs and marketing ethics," Dr Misra said.

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