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Pharma sales rise in June after a 2-month slump

MUMBAI: Domestic pharma retail market could be seeing green shoots from now, after plummeting to negative territory in the last two months. The revival — a growth of 13% in June after dipping to lows of -6% in May and -9% in April, came on the back of a strong performance in both chronic and acute therapies, and new drug launches.
The growth is significant as it has come despite a high Covid base due to the Delta wave prevailing in June last year, industry experts told TOI. Amidst the lethal wave, sales of anti-respiratory, pain killers, antibiotics and anti-virals had spiralled in June last year.
The following months, July and August this year should sustain the growth going forward or even post a higher increase, running into a strong double digit, they added.
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Pain, gastroenterology, respiratory, and anti-infectives were the growth drivers during June, which registered overall sales of Rs 15,687 crore. Acute and chronic therapies are witnessing a strong growth after over two years of recording sluggish sales, with life resuming to normal for everyone, and schools and offices being open.
Sales of acute therapies including medicines for cough, cold and allergies are expected to gain further momentum with the rains covering most of the country, including the north. Anti-infectives and allergy medication sales picked up from June with heavy rains in the east, west and south India. Typically, June and July post high sales of anti-infectives every year (barring Covid years).
Anti-diabetic therapy Mixtard remained the top brand with Rs 72 crore of sales, followed by anti-diabetic pill Glycomet-GP and respiratory medication, Foracort. Among the top 10 brands, gastro-pill Pan showed the highest growth, followed by Augmentin (a combination of amoxycillin and clavulanic acid) for the month.
Further, vitamins, probiotics and pediatric formulations also boosted growth in June. On a MAT (moving annual total) basis, the organised pharma retail market valued at Rs 185,023 crore grew 8%.
With high growth in respiratory and chronic therapies, companies including Cipla, USV, Dr Reddy’s, IPCA and JB Chemicals are expected to benefit.
Despite the high growth witnessed in the domestic retail market, analysts expect pharma companies to report subdued growth during the first quarter ended June, due to the high base in the domestic market on account of Covid-related sales. “Besides, higher raw material and freight costs as well as pricing pressures in US business due to high channel inventory continues to drag overall performance’’, analysts added.



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