Merck's Januvia [sitagliptin], a first in class dipeptide peptidase-4 inhibitor treatment for adult onset [Type II] diabetes, was named 2013 Brand of the Year by Pharmaceutical Executive magazine.
Brand of the Year is an independent, non-promotional designation, selected annually since 1998 by the publication's editorial staff and advisory board. It seeks to recognize FDA-authorized prescription medicines with a track record of clinical innovation as well as consistent, real-world performance and appeal to patients. It must also demonstrate novelty in the developer's approach to brand-building and market awareness activities.
Januvia was developed and has been marketed by Merck since 2006, and, along with its sister drug Janumet, is now the biggest-selling therapeutic franchise in the company's 122-year history. "We are pleased to devote our March cover to this important medicine, not only because of its breakthrough status in regulating blood sugar among Type II patients, with fewer side effects, but also for the higher profile it has given to a debilitating chronic condition that contributed to the deaths of more than 4.6 million people worldwide in 2011," said Pharm Exec Editor-in-Chief William Looney.
An article, authored by Senior Editor Ben Comer, features interviews and backgrounders with several top Merck executives, representatives of the original product launch team, patient groups and independent medical experts, all of whom point to the need for further progress by the pharmaceutical industry in combating persistent challenges in managing this growing illness. Despite the success of clinically effective medicines like Januvia, half of all diabetes patients still fail to complete the drug therapy recommended by their physician.