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-infectives and respiratory segments growth.    

According to data from AWACS, the market research wing of the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), which represents over 550,000 medicine sellers across the country, the pharma market clocked 12.2 per cent year-on-year growth in October, against 7.5 per cent in September and 8.7 per cent in August. In total, the industry registered sales of Rs 117.6 billion for the month. 

"Volume growth seems to have resumed to pre-GST disruption levels. Anti-infectives posted a double-digit growth of 13.1 per cent after six consecutive months of single-digit growth, while respiratory segment has picked up and is growing at 14.7 per cent," 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 per cent 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 per cent and 14 per cent growth, respectively. The neuro segments also picked up, growing at 10.3 per cent.

Domestic companies continued to have an edge over their global counterparts, growing at 12.9 per cent as compared to MNCs, which grew slower at 9.1 per cent for October, said the report. Among the top Indian players, Delhi based-Mankind Pharma showed the highest growth of 17.9 per cent, followed by Intas at 17.4 per cent and Lupin at 16 per cent. Among MNCs, which have a presence in the domestic market, Boehringer Ingelheim grew the fastest at 48.4 per cent, followed by Bayer Zydus at 33.3 per cent.   

In the NLEM (National List of Essential Medicines) category, Indian companies showed a growth of 9.5 per cent whereas MNCs grew at a meagre 0.9 per cent, as they tend to avoid this category of medicines. In the non-NLEM category, domestic firms showed a growth of 13.2 per cent, with MNCs following close at 10.5 per cent.
"Region-wise, South Gujarat posted the highest growth of 26.4 per cent, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 24.2 per cent and Saurashtra at 21.4 per cent," said the AIOCD-AWACS report.  

Pharma growth tracker

Growth percentage for October

2016-17: 8.8%
2017-18: 6.4%
2018-19: 12.2%

Source: AIOCD-AWACS report  

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel