With its patent exclusivity on metformin (Glucophage) about to end, Bristol-Myers Squibb is looking at a new pill to help keep its strong position in the type 2 drug market. In 2000, other companies will be able to manufacture generic forms of Glucophage, the best-selling diabetes pill in the United States. With generic medicines being less expensive, the company is bound to lose sales.
Bristol-Myers Squibb hopes to get big sales with a new pill that combines Glucophage and Glyburide, a type of sulfonylurea. In October, Bristol-Myers Squibb asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the new pill.
Glucophage and sulfonylureas act differently to combat high blood sugars, and can be used in combination. Glucophage helps decrease glucose secretion from the liver, while sulfonylureas stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin.