With the launch of Hyalgan (sodium hyaluronate), Lupin has forayed into the orthopaedic segment in India. Hyalgan is a therapy against degenerative joint disease-osteoarthritis. It is a type of intra-articular knee injection that delays the onset and progression of osteoarthritis in patients. It represents a painless, unique and qualitative therapeutic approach in the treatment of osteoarthritis available at affordable prices within the country.
The Hyalgan therapy consists of five injections at weekly intervals, to restore the cushioning and lubricating properties of the knee joint. This research molecule is originally by FIDIA, the Italian pharma giant, and the world leader in HA therapy which is marketed in 60 countries all over the world. Given the rising incidence of osteoarthritis in India, it is an effective option to the growing younger patient population that are increasingly becoming victims of the disease. The remarkable 5-injection therapy works wonders and gives long-lasting relief to patient’s upto a year for every course that is taken, thereby helping patients to get their mobility and freedom back.
A recently conducted survey concluded that the osteoarthritis (OA) market is around INR 150 crore. In India, OA is the second most prevalent disease in the 25-30 age group and affects more than 12 per cent of the population.
Dr. Vaibhav Kasodekar, a leading Joint Replacement and Arthroscopy surgeon, averred, "Hyalgan is a safe and effective remedy that has successfully been used worldwide for the treatment of osteoarthritis and is now available in India. An ideal therapy recommended for patients of stage 1 to 3 of Osteoarthritis, it is instrumental in deferring the onset and progression of the disease and relieves the acute pain associated with it."
Dr. Kasodekar further explained, "Hyalgan is useful even for people who are on other forms of treatment such as painkillers or physical therapy and offers recourse to knee replacement surgery, if detected at an early stage. In acute cases, it can precede a surgical procedure to reduce the severity of the ailment and effectively manage the ailment."
"Hyalgan has been helpful in putting off joint injuries, preserving mobility and range of motion, plummeting the arthritis symptoms and deformities, and delaying the succession of the disease", added Dr. Kasodekar.
Commenting on the development, Shakti Chakraborty, group president – India Region Formulations, Lupin, said, "We have successfully test marketed Hyalgan over the last six months with leading doctors in India and are delighted with the initial response. The therapy has been well-received and Hyalgan is available in the form of an injectable across the country. Hyalgan is a superior quality and affordably priced treatment that would be accessible via special patient care programs to provide value to the large pool of osteoarthritis patients in the country today."
R. D. Bhatt, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Endeavour Division, Lupin, added, "With the rising incidence of osteoarthritis in recent times, patients in the age bracket of 35-40 years are increasingly getting associated with the disease, which was earlier observed in patients in the age group of 55-65 years." He further added, "We recognize the need to reach out to a large local populace suffering from this condition at an early stage. The Hyalgan therapy promises a cost-effective and affordable treatment to a significant national population that remains largely undeserved given the high prices of drugs in the market."
The second largest osteoarthritis patient base is in India, with over 15 million affected. By 2011, India will have 66 million people (aged above 65 years) in the high risk segment for osteoarthritis.