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Pharma Sales Growth Back In Double Digits In February Led By Respiratory Drugs

NEW DELHI: After two months of tepid performance, India’s pharmaceutical sales rose 12.1% year-on-year to 12,072.9 crore in February led by double-digit growth in eight of 10 segments, according to data from market research firm AIOCD-AWACS.

In December and January, sales were at 8.8% and 7.7% respectively.

Growth in February was primarily driven by price hikes, contributing 5.4 percentage points, while a rise in volumes and introduction of new products added of 3.8 and 2.9 percentage points respectively, AIOCD-AWACS said.

Sales of respiratory and anti-infective drugs topped charts in February. Respiratory medicine sales grew a stellar 17.9% on year to 1,053.2 crore, while anti-infective sales rose 14.1% to 1,640.6 crore in February, pushing Indian pharmaceutical market’s growth back into double digits.

The robust performance in February was also on account of double-digit rise in other segments like cardiac care, gastrointestinal, anti-diabetic and analgesics, among others.

During the 12 months ended February, pharmaceutical companies in India clocked sales of 1.4 lakh crore, up 9.7% year-on-year, with price increases being a major contributor to the higher revenue.

Sales of medicines not under price controls grew at a faster pace of 9.8% than the 9.1% recorded by those under National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). According to the data, over the last one year, growth in sales of medicines not under NLEM was primarily due to price increases, with volumes rising less than 1%.

Cardiac care, anti-infective and anti-diabetic drugs led the year-long sales growth.

Among the top 10 corporates, growth in the year ended February was led by Intas Pharmaceuticals, Mankind Pharma, Alkem Laboratories, Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Zydus Cadila, with revenue increasing in the range of 12.0-13.5%.

Indian drug makers in general grew at a faster rate of 10% compared with their multinational counterparts’ average of 8.3%.

Sales of India’s largest drug maker–Sun Pharmaceutical Industries–grew 9.3% during the year ended February, while the biggest multinational, the Abbott group, reported an 8.6% rise in sales.

Sales of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals were up 7.9% for February, higher than the 4.7% it recorded in December-February, which could indicate that the company’s struggle with the suspension of rantidine sales, one of its best selling drugs, is behind it.

GSK Pharma had suspended sales of the drug, sold under the brand Zinetac, in September after the US Food and Drug Administration raised an alarm over high levels of the known-environmental carcinogen N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine.-Livemint

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