MUMBAI: Domestic pharma retail market bounced back with a substantial growth of 8.4% y-o-y (year-on-year) in December, after a weak performance during the year, led by a higher number of prescriptions, OPD (outpatient department) visits, and increased marketing push by drug companies.
During 2020, October was the lone month which posted a robust growth of nearly 10%, while the market dipped to 1% growth in November.
The acute segment (45% of market) grew 6% y-o-y while chronic (55%) rose nearly 11% y-o-y in the month.
Overall, the high-margin chronic segment will continue to do well compared to the low-margin acute segment, due to the longer duration of diseases, changes in lifestyle and poor food habits coupled with an increasing disposable income, according to India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra).
The growth was led by volume growth of 0.3% y-o-y (November: negative 6.9% y-o-y), price growth of 5% (4.7%) and new launches growth of 3.1% (3.2%).
As the number of prescriptions dispensed has increased, acute therapy sales grew by 6% during December. Also, healthy traction was witnessed in chronic therapies. On a moving annual total (MAT) basis, revenue in acute therapies was almost flat, while that in the chronic and sub-chronic therapies grew 8.5% and 2.8% y-o-y, respectively.
Acute therapies such as vitamins, gastro and derma witnessed growth of 14%, 16.2% and 10.8% y-o-y, respectively, during the month, while a growth outperformance was observed in chronic therapies with cardiac, anti-diabetic and CNS growing 14.9%, 9.9% and 9.2% y-o-y, respectively.
Ind-Ra highlights the sharp sales growth recovery seen in December in therapies such as anti-infectives to 5.2% (0.2% in November), analgesic at 6% (negative 5.2%), gynaec at 6.6% (negative 4.3%), and anti-neoplastic at 8.1% (0.1%).
During December, Glenmark, Aristo, Cipla and Torrent were among the top performers, and significantly outperformed the market, with y-o-y growth of 16.1%, 9%, 8.2%, and 6.9%, respectively. This was led by higher sales of Covid-19- related products, and the continued outperformance of chronic therapies.