The type 2 diabetes (T2D) therapy market in Latin America (LatAm) presents a large commercial opportunity to drug manufacturers. The prevalence of T2D in LatAm is high and is expected to increase, and substantial unmet need remains. However, the already extensive treatment armamentarium for T2D means that any new entrants in the field will have to compete with established treatments. Unique market access hurdles and levers in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina will determine the extent to which new brands achieve penetration in each of these countries.
In the past seven years, several new oral and injectable non-insulin drugs—including DPP-IV inhibitors, GLP-1 analogues, and, most recently, SGLT-2 inhibitors—have launched in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina, but their successful uptake is largely dependent on the expansion of drug coverage by local authorities, coverage that varies widely between countries. Health technology assessment (HTA) is rapidly becoming the most powerful driver of market access in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina, and the premium prices of these newer classes of antidiabetic agents pose a major challenge to these cost-constrained healthcare systems. However, physicians and patients can resource exceptional pathways, some of which can lead to a drug’s inclusion in the national and/or institutional/regional drug formularies. Manufacturers of T2D agents should explore these opportunities to best position their products in these markets.