The domestic pharma retail market registered a robust growth rate of around 10 percent in 2018, nearly doubling year-on-year, buoyed by higher volumes and launch of new drugs. In 2017, the market was impacted by the introduction of GST, resulting in a meagre growth rate of 5.5 percent — the lowest in recent years. Anti-diabetics, cardio-vascular, respiratory and derma medicines ended the year with strong double-digit growth, while overall drivers of the Rs 1.29-lakh-crore market include higher volumes (4.8 percent), price increase (2.2 percent) and new launches (2.4 percent), data from market research firm AIOCD-Awacs said. For December alone, the market showed 9.8 percent growth, higher than in November. In fact, growth has been consistently above 9 percent over the last four quarters with Abbott, Lupin, Torrent and Intas growing at strong double-digit rates during the year, it said.
Anti-diabetic therapy human premix insulin Mixtard topped the pecking order, followed by anti-diabetes medicines including Glycomet GP, Lantus and Janumet for the year. Ayurvedic hepatic protector Liv 52 assumed the fifth slot. Anti-infectives is the largest therapy, followed by cardiac, gastro-intestinal and anti-diabetic. Expansion was driven by top domestic companies contributing close to 43 percent, and collectively outgrowing the market. The north and west zones in the country registered strong growth in double digits. Glenmark Pharma president (India formulations, Middle East and Africa) Sujesh Vasudevan said, “The domestic pharmaceutical market saw good growth in 2018, driven by strong performance of anti-diabetic, cardiology and dermatology segments. In the current year, we expect double-digit growth for the domestic pharma industry as companies continue to improve productivity and brand-building”.
MNCs grew 9 percent during December, while domestic companies recorded higher growth at 10 percent. Among the top MNCs, Boehringer Ingelheim was the fastest growing, followed by Bayer and Astra Zeneca. While anti-infectives grew 5 percent, respiratory segment slowed down at 2.7 percent during the month. As against this, dermatology grew faster at 10.5 percent, gastro-intestinal drugs posted double-digit sales growth (10.4 percent), while vitamins grew at 8.7 percent. Among the chronic therapies, anti-diabetic and cardio drugs posted robust sales growth at 16.9 percent and 16.5 percent respectively. Sales of fixed-dose formulations, many of which have been banned and are facing regulatory glare, slumped, while the non-FDC (fixed dose combination) market grew 9.3 percent during December. – TOI