The extended lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation has led to one of the shocking downfall in three years in the domestic pharmaceutical retail market, with growth declining by 12% in April. This is the first year-on-year (YoY) decline since GST’s implementation in July 2017. Production at pharmaceutical units continues to be impacted due to the lockdown-driven problems, with companies facing challenges in distribution, manufacturing and operations.
The pharma market was pulled down by acute therapies, with demand for these medicines come down by nearly 21% in April YoY. With prescriptions for anti-infectives down, sales of pain, gastro and vitamins — usually prescribed together — were also impacted, an industry expert said, adding that these four together comprise around 40% of the overall market share.
Big pharma companies like Cadila Health, Cipla and Dr Reddy’s — those with a considerable exposure to the acute therapy — did not perform at par according to the market during the month. Ipca and Torrent Pharma were the only companies with positive growth in April, according to a note by brokerage firm CLSA. Interestingly, Ipca saw yet another strong month with nine of its top 10 therapies growing in double digits. Its anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, considered a potential treatment for Covid-19 in certain countries, registered 19% YoY growth.