Diabetes prevalence varies widely across US, study shows
- Diabetes is a growing problem in the U.S. The percentage of the population with diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. has increased from 0.93% in 1958 to 7.02%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- A new analysis of diabetes prevalence, published in the journal Diabetes Care, gives greater detail into that broad country-wide trend.
- Overall prevalence was 10.2%, a 40% jump between 1999 and 2012, according to the data. For pharma companies, the sharp increase means a huge market for drugs aimed at prevention and treatment.
The analysis, which looked at the U.S. county by county, found diabetes prevalence (combined levels of diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes) in 2012 were at their lowest in Los Alamos County, New Mexico (8.8%). Starr County, Texas had the highest prevalence, hitting 26.4%.
Generally, counties in the deep South, those close to the Mexico border and those with Native American reservations reported the highest prevalence. The lowest prevalence was in the upper west and Midwest, parts of Alaska and parts of New England.
As prevalence has grown, competition in the market for diabetes drug market has grown more intense.
Sanofi has worked in diabetes for 85 years, but has recently hit a number of setbacks. Its best-selling insulin, Lantus, faces biosimilar competition, and regulatory review for its type II diabetes injection iGlarLixi (a fixed ratio combination of Adlyxin) has been delayed until November.
And in January 2016, the drugmaker terminated its licensing agreement for MannKind’s Afrezza inhaled insulin after slow sales and a troubled launch.
Novo Nordisk is also looking to bring a new combination product to market. Called IDegLira, the drug is a fixed-dose combination of the insulin Tresiba with Victoza. While Novo is a leader in the diabetes market, it has recently reduced forecasts for growth in sales and operating profits in the light of increasing competition in the U.S. market.
Eli Lilly, another major competitor in the space, hopes its SGLT-2 inhibitor Jardiance could be a difference maker, given its proven cardiovascular benefit.
The social and economic burden of diabetes is huge, accounting for around a fifth of the US healthcare spend. There remains a lot of unmet need despite the number of drugs on offer, and this makes for a major market opportunity for drugs and devices companies.
- American Diabetes Association Analysis results
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