scorecardIndia is getting healthier and that’s affecting the health of pharma companies
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India is getting healthier and that’s affecting the health of pharma companies

India is getting healthier and that’s affecting the health of pharma companies
Business3 min read
Representational image    Unsplash
  • Glenmark, the maker of the famed Fabiflu; Cipla the maker of Remdesivir and Dr Reddy’s Labs and the maker of Doxt SI, lost their sales this month.
  • Indians seemed to have also lost their obsession to maintain or improve their immunities as well since vitamins, nutrients and mineral supplement sales fell.
  • Dermatology drug sales grew 19% as patient footfalls increased and consultation needs might have remained dormant for a long time now.
Same time last year in the thick of the second wave, millions of Covid-infected Indians were gulping 11 pills of Fabiflu per day. Fortunately, that wave has abated and it is reflecting in the fortunes of pharma companies which have posted a much-expected negative growth in April this year, according to an Anand Rathi Securities report.

One of the biggest hits was taken by Glenmark, the maker of the famed Fabiflu whose overall sales fell by a massive 52.4%. Then there is Cipla the maker of the controversial but much-prescribed Remdesivir - whose 97.8% sales drop affected Cipla. Dr Reddy’s Labs too lost 80% of the sales of its anti-infective drug Doxt SI, and 45% drop in respiratory drug Bro Zedex.

All the drug categories like anti-infectives, respiratory medicines and immunity boosting supplements were the part of a ‘packet’ of drugs shipped to Covid patients who were isolating at home, and it’s showing in their sales books.

Indians seemed to have also lost their obsession to maintain or improve their immunities as well since vitamins, nutrients and mineral supplement sales fell as compared to last year too.

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Sales of anti-infectives and respiratory drugs in April      Anand Rathi / Business Insider India / Flourish

More sun, less stress



It does not seem like Indians have put health behind them, In fact most of them who have been delaying doctor visits are resuming them - with an increase in patient footfalls.

Another interesting point is that even with increased consultations, cardio drug sales have remained muted. Either they are less stressed either because they are working from home or due to the eased lockdowns or more. Experts predict that the need for anti-infectives might not come back soon and pharmacos might have to expand their portfolios to make up for this.

“As the pandemic has receded, the past exceptional growth in acute therapies may not be repeated with stellar double-digit growth for anti-infectives coming down. We believe that chronic-driven companies would have better opportunities to grow as Covid is now past, domestically,” said the Anand Rathi report.

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Sales of gastro and neuro drugs have shot up      Anand Rathi / Business Insider India / Flourish

Skin in the game



Those who have been ignoring skin, hair and similar conditions, are now seeking it - reflecting in a double digit growth in dermatology sales. That’s good news for pharma companies like Ajanta, Torrent and Mankind, who managed to post a strong double digit growth thanks to new areas of medicines sales.

The overall derma category grew by 19% in the month. The next best performer was the gynecology segment, at 16% growth which too benefited from increase in patient footfalls. Anti-diabetics too grew at 5% while the pain segment remained muted just like cardiacs.

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Covid outperformers lose their sheen      Anand Rathi / Business Insider India / Flourish

In the long run, the best performing pharma companies would be those with a wide range of chronic therapy, says the Anand Rathi report. A mixed bag of products help companies manage the volume fall shock like Dr Reddy’s Labs. Though two of their top ten products suffered from a Covid induced loss, their derma product Atarax and GI drug Econorm showed strong growth - softening the blow.

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