Novo Nordisk launches anti-diabetes pill semaglutide in India

Novo Nordisk, the Danish drug maker on Thursday announced the launch of oral semaglutide in India for treatment of type 2 diabetes.

The oral semaglutide will cost Rs 315 per pill or around Rs 10000 for a full month treatment.

“We have kept it at the (similar) price range of the injectable GLP-1, not only that we have followed price equilibrium band, which means if a person goes from 3 mg to 7 mg, the cost they pay is just 9-10% higher, and not double, as per conventional models,” said Vikrant Shrotriya, corporate vice president and managing director, Novo Nordisk India.

India is the sixth country where the semaglutide pill has been commercially launched.

Oral semaglutide – a glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor analogue molecule, is a promising addition to diabetes treatment.

So far the drug was available only in injection form.

Scientists at Novo Nordisk took up the challenge of formulating the drug into a pill form that makes it more convenient for patients. Novo Nordisk said the formulation development and clinical trials took about 15 years.

Semaglutide directly or indirectly targets six out of eight pathophysiological defects of type-2 diabetes, more than any other class of

anti-diabetes medications. The drug mimics the incretin hormone that’s produced naturally by our pancreas, that binds to GLP-1 receptors and stimulates glucose dependent insulin release, therefore reducing the glucose levels in the body. Along with diabetes control the drug has shown to reduce obesity and cardiovascular risk reduction in the clinical trials.

Oral semaglutide has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in 2020. India was part of Phase-3 global clinical trials of oral Semaglutide. The completed and ongoing global trials with oral semaglutide includes more than 10,000 patients of which more than 1,000 participants are from India.


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