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Novo Nordisk, Torrent Pharma expand insulin capacity in Gujarat by 35%

Torrent invested Rs 60 cr in its insulin manufacturing facility at Indrad so far, which had been set up in partnership with Novo Nordisk India in 2009

Sohini Das  |  Indrad 


The world's largest maker of diabetes drugs Denmark-based and also the market leader in India for products, is upping its game in the diabetes capital. In partnership with Torrent Pharmaceuticals, today inaugurated the extended at the latter’s Indrad factory near Ahmedabad. With this expansion, the company aims to add another two million patients under its therapy. The Danish major currently enjoys around 60% market share in the Rs 2,200-crore market in India, which is currently growing at a 15-17% rate. Around 3 million people currently have access to its products that are available across 350,000 counters across India. "Any pharmacy with a refrigeration facility would practically stock our product," said Melvin D’Souza, Managing Director, India. He further added that the company has been growing at 15% for the past few years and hopes to continue a similar growth rate. The 26 million vials per annum Indrad facility, that was opened in 2009 has been expanded by 30-35%. As such, the partnership between and Torrent goes back 25 years when it launched 40 IU vial of in 1992. This facility supplies 70% of Novo Nordisk's Indian requirement, and the rest including long acting brand are imported from Denmark. D'souza said that even the crystals that are processed in the Indrad facility are imported from Denmark. "We and our partner take extreme care about maintaining quality. So far, we have had never had to recall a single batch manufactured at this facility ever," he added. Off late, the market in India has seen growing competition - with local players like Wockhardt and Biocon betting on the segment apart from MNC players like Sanofi Aventis.

Sanofi's long acting brand Lantus was launched in India in 2007 ahead of Novo Nordisk's Novo currently imports and has no immediate plans to make it in India. Frederik Kier, Senior Vice President, Region AAMEO (Africa, Asia, Middle East, Oceania) , said that prices and costs are determined primarily by economies of scale. "At the moment, making in India would make it more expensive." Novo's human product has remained under price control for years. D'Souza said: "Our human vials price have dropped by about 35-40% over the last 15 years. Still, we continue to have high level of attention for That shows we have a greater appetite to get our products in the market and cater to the larger masses, a good quality and affordable " Novo, however, conducts around 10% of its global clinical trials in India as data from the Indian patient is critical for establishing drug efficacies. India has around 73 million diabetes patients, around 50% of whom are not aware of the disease. There are around 120 million more people who are borderline patients. Around 120,000 practising diabetologists treat this population, of whom around 35,000 or so prescribe products. According to the International Diabetes Federation 8th Atlas, the number of diabetics in India is expected to go up to 134.3 million by 2045. Torrent Pharma, the exclusive contract manufacturer for for Novo Nordisk's Indian operations, too dabbles in diabetes management. The company, however, is not present in the segment. Jinesh Shah, Executive Director, Torrent Pharmaceuticals who looks after the manufacturing operations and research and development (R&D) said that diabetes therapies currently account for around 10% of the company's domestic formulations business, and is clocking a 14-15% growth rate. Torrent has invested Rs 60 crore cumulatively in this facility, which is dedicated for "As we embarked on a new growth path at Torrent, we look forward to working more collaboratively with to ensure the diabetes challenge in India is addressed effectively," said Shah Globally, for the first six months of 2017, region AAMEO grew by 4% in local currencies. AAMEO accounts for 11% of Novo Nordisk's overall sales with bulk coming from the US (53%). India play

  • With this expansion, aims to add another 2 mn patients under its therapy
  • Danish major currently enjoys around 60% share in the Rs 2,200-cr market in India
  • Around 3 mn people currently have access to its products across India

First Published: Tue, December 12 2017. 00:54 IST