Denmark-based world leader in diabetes care Novo Nordisk can look at making India the hub for manufacturing insulin for the sub-continent. The company today inaugurated a dedicated facility with a capacity of 26 million vials per annum in partnership with Ahmedabad based Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Torrent has been manufacturing insulin for Novo Nordisk since the early nineties.
Novo Nordisk's senior vice president of international operations, Jesper Hoiland said that the company already had a manufacturing facility in China and was also looking for opportunities in countries like Bangladesh.
When asked whether India could be developed as a hub for manufacturing insulin for neighbouring countries in the sub-continent, Hoiland said "That is indeed a possibility. We are looking into it."
India can be easily called the world's diabetes capital with over 50 million cases, and the numbers are expected to reach 80 million by 2025. While the adult prevalence rate here is around 6.2 per cent, only a small percentage is actually treated.
Novo Nordisk enjoys a 70 per cent market share in the country reaching out to almost 1.2 million people of the total two million patients who are currently getting treated with insulin. "Currently India's share in Novo Nordisk's global turnover is negligible, around 1-1.5 per cent, but it is steadily growing at a rate of 20-30 per cent", Hoiland said.
Novo Nordisk enjoys a 50 per cent share in the world insulin market. He added that with the growing market in the country, India is fast becoming a strategic market for this global giant.
The company has brought in 150 people from its Denmark operations and is currently holding 8-10 per cent of its clinical trials in India now on over 10,000 people.
Sanjay Dalal, chief operating officer, Torrent Pharmaceuticals said that his company had invested around $11 million on this dedicated insulin manufacturing facility for Novo Nordisk and this could be expanded depending on market demand with slight de-bottlenecking in the coming years without the need to invest further. The Kadi facility could also be used to export insulin from India later on.
While declining to comment on the commercial agreement between the two companies, Dalal told reporters here that currently the contribution of Oral Hypoglycemic Agents (OHA's), oral medicines taken to bring down blood glucose levels, to the net turnover of Torrent Pharma is around 10 per cent while the proceeds from the sale of insulin goes in Novo Nordisk's books as they market the product here in India.