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After showing signs of recovery, pharma sales dip in July

By Sohini Das
August 11, 2020 14:05 IST
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Growth has been under pressure since the lockdowns related to Covid-19 started and fresh prescription generations slowed.

The domestic pharmaceutical industry clocked negligible growth of 0.2 per cent in July after showing signs of recovery in June.

Most therapy areas posted a drop in sales growth rate.

Growth has been under pressure since the lockdowns related to Covid-19 started and fresh prescription generations slowed.

 

In May, the Indian pharma market contracted 9 per cent after declining 11 per cent in April.

June, however, saw some recovery with the growth coming back at 2.4 per cent.

According to the data from market research firm AIOCD AWACS, the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the growth rate of the domestic market.

However, some therapies continued to post growth in July.

Chronic therapy areas (that usually see stickiness from patients) continued to post growth.

Cardiac therapy, for example, clocked a 13.1 per cent growth rate, while anti-diabetic grew 5.9 per cent.

Respiratory medicine sales, however, shrank 2 per cent.

Even after the relaxation of the lockdown, sales of anti-infectives fell 10.2 per cent in July.

Anti-infective (primarily antibiotics) sales usually grow during the monsoons as cold- and fever-related illnesses rise.

Vitamin sales bounced back and grew 5.5 per cent in July as consumer interest in over-the-counter immunity-boosting medicines grew.

Several companies have either launched or renewed focus on such brands - Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, for example, has launched nutraceutical brands, similarly Zuventus Healthcare’s zinc supplement Zinconia has seen traction in the market.

The growth in June was also partly due to the low base as monsoons were slightly delayed last year, according to Ameesh Masurekar, director of AIOCD AWACS.

In comparison, this year the monsoons are early. This typically pushes up sales of categories like anti-infectives, he said.

Credit rating agency ICRA recently said that it expected the domestic pharma industry to clock 4-6 per cent growth in this financial year.

Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

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Sohini Das in Mumbai
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