Sometimes #Pharma "Innovation" Doesn't Make Good Business Sense: Merck/Diabetes Case Study | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Merck & Co will no longer file for approval of once-weekly diabetes drug omarigliptin in the US or Europe.


The company said in a statement that the decision did not relate to any safety or efficacy issues with the DPP-4 inhibitor, which might suggest it is not confident that the market is prepared to pay a premium for a weekly compared to a once-daily drug such as Merck's own Januvia (sitagliptin) product.


There are thought to be other issues with once-weekly administration of DPP-4 inhibitors. While they are intended to reduce the burden of taking pills by diabetics and improve compliance, patients can rarely benefit from drug-free days as those on DPP-4 inhibitors often also take metformin, which must be dosed every day.


Some clinicians argue that it is easier for patients to keep track of dosing two drugs side by side rather than mixing weekly and daily doses.