November 16, 2020
Building on gains made in September, the domestic pharmaceutical
retail market marched ahead with a near 10% growth in October.
This was led by a higher number of prescriptions, OPD (outpatient
department) visits, and an increased sales and marketing push by
pharma companies after ‘unlocking’ in most parts of the country.
The robust October growth was double that of September, which had
seen a 4.5% jump. The market grew 9.6% year-on-year (YoY) during
October, led by a volume growth of 0.9% YoY (September was -4%),
price growth of 5% (4.6%) and increase in product launches at
3.7% (3.8%). On a moving average total (MAT) basis for the past
12 months, the growth was 3.9% for October. The revival was on the
back of therapies, including cardiac and anti-diabetic, which grew
by 19.5% and 9.7% respectively in October (over September), according
to data from research firm AIOCD Awacs. Respiratory medicines
showed marginal improvement at -6.6% in October as against -10.5
% in September.
The market, valued at nearly Rs 1.5 lakh crore, has been sluggish
since March, when the lockdown was announced. The sector, however,
did not face restrictions since it’s categorised as an essential
service. In fact in April and May, the market had dropped into the
negative territory due to the absence of prescriptions and lower
Revenue in acute therapies grew 6% YoY, while that in chronic and
sub-chronic therapies rose 13% YoY each in October. On a MAT basis,
revenue in acute therapies grew 1%, while chronic and sub-chronic
therapies 9% and 3% YoY, respectively, according to India Ratings
Anti-infective sales showed a positive trend, growing by 6.6% in
October as against 1.4% in September, while associated therapy like
gastro reported a growth of 13.6% (5.5% in September), and vitamins
at 22.6% (16.3%). Pain and analgesics grew at 2.8% during the month
from -4.3 % in September.
On an annual basis, acute therapies such as vitamins and gastro
witnessed a healthy revenue growth of 22.6% and 13.6% respectively
during October. Chronic therapies continued their strong growth
outperformance with cardiac, anti-diabetic and central nervous
system (CNS) reporting YoY 19.5%, 9.7% and 9.6% respectively.