Lupin Hikes Diabetes Drug Price by 200% in the U.S.

Lupin Hikes Diabetes Drug Price by 200% in the U.S.
September 25, 2015
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

MUMBAI, India -- India-based Lupin Pharmaceuticals stock shot up 4 percent after the company increased the price of its generic diabetes drug by 200 percent, Business Standard reported this morning.

Lupin’s stock soared to 1,989.45 per share on the Mumbai Stock Exchange. Some analysts have predicted the stock could increase to 2,200 per share. There was no word on what sparked the price increase.

Lupin, India’s fourth largest drugmaker, said the price change could increase revenue by approximately $100 million annually. Lupin’s drug is a generic version of Andrax Labs’ type 2 diabetes drug Fortamet and competes with Valeant’s Glumetza tablets in that market. Despite the increase in price, Lupin’s drug is still 15 percent cheaper than brand treatments, ProfitNDTV reported. For Fortamet generics, Lupin has a 60 percent market share, about $170 million annually, PNDTV said. Another generic, Mylan, was approved in 2013.

Lupin is also much cheaper than Glumetza. The Business Standard reported Sarabjit Kour Nangra, vice-president at Angel Broking, said the drug is about 75 percent cheaper than Valeant’s medication. Lupin has been selling its generic version since 2011.

Lupin’s price hike comes on the heels of Turing Pharmaceuticals5,000 percent increase of Daraprim, a drug used to treat toxoplasmosis. Turing acquired the drug in August for $55 million and increased the price from $13.50 per tablet to $750 per tablet. The increase sparked a public outcry about the price of prescription drugs and moved some politicians to begin talks about possible price caps on prescription medications.

In August, Lupin opened a $13 million facility in Coral Springs, where it plans to create 45 jobs. Lupin said it will conduct research and development work in Coral Springs for inhalation products to treat asthma, allergic rhinitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. The Florida facility was the second site for the Indian company in the United States.

In July, Lupin struck an $880 million deal to acquire privately held Gavis Pharmaceuticals LLC. The acquisition will increase Lupin’s presence as a generic drug supplier in the United States and will also broaden Lupin's pipeline in dermatology, controlled substance products and other high-value and niche generics, the company said. The acquisition will also give Lupin its first manufacturing site in the United States as it takes over Gavis’ New Jersey manufacturing facility.

Also in July, Lupin acquired Russia-based Biocom for an undisclosed amount of money, giving Lupin its first toehold in Russia. Biocom reported sales of 861.2 million rubles, about $15 million in 2014. Biocom is a generic pharmaceutical company with a focus on therapies including cardiovascular, central nervous system and antimicrobials. The Russian company also does contract manufacturing and secondary packaging for other pharmaceutical companies.

Lupin saw second quarter earnings in the U.S. fall 31 percent to $180 million, leading to a net profit decline of 16 percent to 5.25 billion rupees, about $82.35 million.

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