Over the weekend, pharmaceutical giant Merck
Janumet is a tablet that combines doses of Merck's novel DPP-4 oral diabetes drug, Januvia (which was approved in the U.S. last October) and the generic drug metformin. Since their launches last year, the two drugs have been used separately by some patients. But with the approval of Janumet, patients can now take the compounds in a more convenient one-pill dosage format.
This easier-to-use Januvia combination pill will only increase the rate of sales growth for the drug. In its first quarter on the market, sales of Januvia were $42 million. In January, the drug received a positive opinion from the European Union medical authority, which means final approval there should come later in the year.
The biggest competitor to Januvia and Janumet was supposed to be Novartis'
Merck has had a host of positive developments across all fronts in the past few months. It is slowly turning the corner on overcoming some of the Vioxx litigation, competitors have had their drugs delayed, and Merck has been stringing along several regulatory and clinical trial successes with its drug pipeline as well.