Pharma Sales Growth on Double-Digit Track, Back to Pre-GST Disruption Level

After tepid single-digit growth in August and September, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is back on the double-digit track on strong anti-infective and respiratory segments growth. According to data from AWACS, the market research wing of the All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), which represents over 550,000 medicine sellers across the country, the pharma market clocked 12.2 percent year-on-year growth in October, against 7.5 percent in September and 8.7 percent in August. In total, the industry registered sales of ₹117.6 billion for the month. “Volume growth seems to have resumed to pre-GST disruption levels. Anti-infective posted a double-digit growth of 13.1 percent after six consecutive months of single-digit growth, while respiratory segment has picked up and is growing at 14.7 percent,” said Edelweiss Securities.

Echoing the same views, pharma analyst Amey Chalke of HDFC Securities said the anti-infective, respiratory and vitamins segments picking up growth and surging 10-15 percent was a key factor contributing to the overall double-digit growth. In fact, all top therapy areas, except analgesics, posted double-digit growth. In the chronic therapies, anti-diabetics and cardiac segments posted 17.4 percent and 14 percent growth, respectively. The neuro segments also picked up, growing at 10.3 percent. Domestic companies continued to have an edge over their global counterparts, growing at 12.9 percent as compared to MNCs, which grew slower at 9.1 percent for October, said the report. Among the top Indian players, Delhi based-Mankind Pharma showed the highest growth of 17.9 percent, followed by Intas at 17.4 percent and Lupin at 16 percent.

Among MNCs, which have a presence in the domestic market, Boehringer Ingelheim grew the fastest at 48.4 percent, followed by Bayer Zydus at 33.3 percent. In the NLEM (National List of Essential Medicines) category, Indian companies showed a growth of 9.5 percent whereas MNCs grew at a meagre 0.9 percent, as they tend to avoid this category of medicines. In the non-NLEM category, domestic firms showed a growth of 13.2 percent, with MNCs following close at 10.5 percent. “Region-wise, South Gujarat posted the highest growth of 26.4 percent, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 24.2 percent and Saurashtra at 21.4 percent,” said the AIOCD-AWACS report. – Business Standard

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