Acute Therapy Leads Pharma Growth In September As Indians Venture Out More
India's pharmaceutical market grew in September, driven by sales in the acute therapy or drugs for short-term illnesses such as respiratory ailments, cough and cold, as more people started going outdoors.
The overall market grew 12.5% by value over a year earlier in September, according to industry data cited in an Emkay Global report. That compares with an 18.5% rise in August and 11.9% growth in September 2020.
The respiratory segment grew 57% year-on-year even as Covid-19 infections fell, Emkay said citing Iqvia/IMS numbers.
The anti-infective segment followed with a growth of 28% in sales as the economy continued to return to normalcy with more people venturing out of home and contracting infections.
Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Cipla Ltd., Lupin Ltd., Cadila Healthcare Ltd., Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. and Ipca Laboratories Ltd.— the companies in Emkay's coverage—are expected to report domestic revenue growth in mid to high teens in FY22, the brokerage said. That factors in "super normal" growth in the first quarter due to the Covid-19 second wave and a lower base of FY21, it said, adding that a potential third wave of Covid-19 could represent an upside to the estimates.
According to industry data cited by the brokerage:
The moving annual total, or the 12-month rolling sales, of pharmaceutical products in the country rose nearly 18%.
This was driven by a volume growth of 8.2%, new product growth of 5.2%, and pricing growth of 4.2%.
The MAT growth was higher than the 4.6% year-on-year increase in September 2020 and a near-11% rise in the pre-Covid-19 month of September 2019.
The pharma market's volume growth, however, fell to 7.9% in September from 11% in August.
Brokerage View On Pharma Data
Respiratory therapy growth was driven by a strong uptake in cough and cold preparations, which surged 96% year-on-year. The two sub-segments contribute up to 50% to the business.
The anti-infective segment was supported by two drugs—with 64% contribution to the therapy—that registered a growth of more than 30%.
Growth in these segments was led by a higher uptake among pediatric patients, as indicated by an increased growth in the liquid segment.
Softness in cardiac and anti-diabetic therapies— the chronic segment—was due to a high base even as the two-year CAGR remains in double digits.
Top therapies in September were respiratory, pain and gastro, the brokerage said citing data from All Indian Origin Chemists & Distributors Ltd.
The chronic segment was up 7.3% year-on-year against 10% in the previous month. A moderate number considering that there is no base effect.
Pre-Covid-19 chronic sales growth used to be in low-to-mid double digits.
The acute segment sales growth was at 17.6% year-on-year, which benefited from a low base.