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Top 20 Diabetes Drugs 2017

In 2016, global diabetes drugs market was valued at USD 30.95 billions and is estimated to grow by 7.5% to reach USD 44.53 billions by 2021. The top 10 global companies manufacturing diabetes drugs collectively hold a market share of 93.2%. They are Novo Nordisk (29.7%), Sanofi (18.4%), Merck & Co. (14.1%), Eli Lilly (11.8%), AstraZeneca (5.7%), Boehringer Ingelheim (3.9%), Johnson & Johnson (3.2%), Novartis (2.9%), Takeda (2.2%) and Bayer (1.3%).

Sanofi’s Lantus tops the top 10 list with sales of USD 6.057 billions in 2016 accounting for approximately 22.29% of the total sales of top 10 brands. The top 10 Diabetes drugs revenue in 2016 is reduced by 2.256% from 2015’s top 10 sales list.


Mega Blockbuster Lantus, manufactured by Sanofi, led the basal insulin field. Lantus generated global sales of more than USD 7 billions at its peak in 2014. In 2015 and 2016, Lantus global sales was down by 11%, due to competition from other new drugs, biosimilars, and it’s own brand Toujeo. The competitors stole market share by making aggressive deals with payers by offering higher rebates and discounts.


Blockbuster Januvia, manufactured by Merck & Co, led the DPP-4 class, and prescribed to type 2 diabetes patients. Januvia sales increased by 1% in 2016 despite strong competition from oral diabetes treatments including Eli Lilly & Co’s Jardiance and other medicines from SGLT-2 inhibitors family. Januvia has a very high market share in Japan.


Blockbuster Victoza, manufactured by Novo Nordisk, led GLP-1 class therapy for type 2 diabetes patients and hold 60% of global market share in value terms. FDA has approved Victoza triple combination, as it reduces the composite risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death by 13%. US market accounted for 70% of global sales and US patent is expiring in 2023. In 2016, sales grew by 11%, but with a decrease in market share. Victoza faces new competition from Eli Lilly’s Trulicity.

Novarapid/ NovoLog

Mealtime insulin Novarapid/ NovoLog, is manufactured by Novo Nordisk. Global sales of Novarapid/ NovoLog were down by 4%. USA accounted for the 56% of its global sales. NovoLog USA patent is set to be expired in 2017. Novo Nordisk’s NovoLog received stiff competition from Eli Lilly.


Fast-acting insulin Humalog, is manufactured by Eli Lilly. In 2016, Humalog generated global sales of USD 2.77 billions and grew by 3% over 2015 sales value. Revenues grew in USA where lower price was offset by increased demand in other markets. Sanofi’s Humalog biosimilar SAR342434 is under research.


Levemir, basal insulin is manufactured by Novo Nordisk. Global sales were down by 7% in 2016. Levemir sales in China grew by whopping 46%. In Asia and Europe, sales grew by 27%.


Janumet, manufactured by Merck & Co is classified as DPP-4 inhibitor and it is used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. In USA, Janumet face growing competition from other oral diabetes treatments. Sales grew by 2% in 2016. USA accounts for 47% of global sales. In the DPP-4 class category it primarily competes with Eli Lilly’s Tradjenta and AstraZeneca’s Onglyza.

Novomix/ Novolog Mix

Insulin NovoMix/ NovoLog Mix, is manufactured by Novo Nordisk. Global sales of the NovoMix/ NovoLog Mix were down by 6% in 2016. Diabetes treatment brands of Novo Nordisk’s collectively generate 79% of its total global revenue.

Invokana/ Invokamet

SGLT2 class drug Invokana/ Invokamet , is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. It is used for type 2 diabetes treatment in adults. Invokana leads SGLT2 inhibitor category. Global sales were grown by 8%. It largely competes with Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Jardiance.


Human insulin Humulin, manufactured by Eli Lilly is used in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus that require higher dosages of insulin. Global sales were grown by 5% in 2016. In the US, Humulin achieved 7% sales growth largely driven by higher product prices and bulk buying by wholesalers.

Source: Pharma compass, Annual reports, SEC filings, press releases, Company website.

Luca Dezzani is a Novartis employee. All the views, analysis, and perspectives are fully independent and belongs to the author only. They do not represent the views or opinions of Novartis or any other company or organization. IgeaHub is a pharmaceutical blog created and curated by Luca Dezzani.  IgeaHub does not receive any funding or support from Novartis or any other pharmaceutical company. 

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