Smaller pharma firms post faster domestic sales growth in September

Zuventus has marquee brands like Zinconia, a zinc supplement with high zinc content, which has seen significant uptake during Covid19.
Pharma sales have bounced back to a 4.5 per cent growth in September as fresh prescriptions grow. Smaller pharma firms have registered bigger growth in the domestic market, riding on capitalising existing brands, organising sales force, and launch of new brands. 

Barring Cipla and Glenmark, which have clocked robust double-digit growth in September thanks to the sales of their Covid-19 treatment drugs like favipiravir and tocilizumab, most big players have posted tepid growth. Smaller firms such as Corona Remedies, Zuventus Healthcare, and Medley have clocked growth at a faster clip. 

A quick analysis of therapy-wise sales data revealed that dermatology, vitamins, cardiac, and anti-diabetic segments have been major growth drivers. Zuventus, an Emcure group company, for example, saw significant growth in the dermatology and the vitamins segment in September and the July-September quarter. 

Zuventus has marquee brands like Zinconia, a zinc supplement, which has seen significant uptake during the pandemic. In fact, the company had to ramp up production and distribution of the drug in the past quarter after supply shortages were reported. The sales have grown by six or seven times almost. According to AIOCD AWACS data, Zuventus posted 90 per cent growth in sales of vitamins in September and a 372 per cent year-on-year growth. 

Ahmedabad-based Corona Remedies, on the other hand, has ensured that its sales force remained motivated. Speaking to Business Standard, Nirav Mehta, promoter and executive director of Corona Remedies, said: “We did not delay the incentives to our sales force that were due, and ensured they remained in good spirits. Once the lockdown was lifted, it made all the difference in the way they actively promoted our brands,” he said. Corona Remedies has done well in urology and cardiac sales during the month. 

Some companies have done well in segments like stomatologicals — dental or oral medicines. Win Medicare of Betadine fame clocked 102.1 per cent growth in September and 96.5 per cent growth during the September quarter. 

While analysts do not track these companies closely, a Mumbai-based analyst who tracks big pharma firms said some of these firms have exhibited greater agility when it came to reacting to the opportunities offered during the pandemic. 

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