Glenmark introduces cheaper drug for lung fibrosis in India


Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, a research-led, global integrated drug company, has launched Nindanib, a medicine for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis (PF), which causes scarring of lungs, in India, the company announced on Wednesday.

PF is also one of the long-term complications that patients, who have recovered from coronavirus disease (Covid-19), are likely to suffer from, according to doctors.

It is a respiratory health condition that leads to thickening and scarring of lungs. It causes an acute difficulty in breathing and also reduces a patient’s longevity up to five years after the diagnosis.

“Glenmark is a leader in the area of respiratory condition. It has been among the first to launch the branded generic version at an affordable cost for the treatment of PF in India. This will provide patients a far more cost-effective treatment option. It will also enable doctors to treat a wider patient population in the country,” said the company in a statement.

“…priced at Rs 4,500 (for 100 milligrams) and Rs 5,400 (150 mg) per month is available at 5% of the cost, as compared to the innovator brand in India,” it added.

Nintedanib is approved by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for the treatment of Idiopathic (unknown cause) PF (IPF).

IPF is a progressive disease, which gets worse over time.

Patients suffering from IPF need to start their treatment at the earliest and persist with it in a bid to arrest the disease progression.

A lower monthly cost is the key to ensure patients adhere to prescribed lines of treatment over a long term.

IPF affects around 120 Indians per million population, and patients suffering from the health condition are at a higher risk developing severe respiratory conditions, if they afflicted with SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, the company said.

Nintedanib has been studied extensively in various controlled clinical trials that have established its efficacy and safety profile.

In a recently published INBUILD trial, Nintedanib showed significantly lower annual rate of decline in FVC (forced vital capacity) – a measure of the condition of lungs – among patients suffering from progressive fibrosing interstitial lung diseases.

Two clinical trials are being rolled out to study the efficacy and safety of Nintedanib to treat Covid-19 patients, who are suffering from IPF and are moderately to critically ill.

The average survival rate of IPF patients is poor and up to 30% live at least five years after diagnosis.

In India, IPF typically affects men above the age of 65, and most live up to five years, if the disease is left untreated.

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