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covid: Pharma growth shrinks to 4.5% in June as Covid-led segments show decrease in sales

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India’s pharmaceutical market (IPM) contracted for the first time in several months, reporting a lower growth of 4.5% in the month of June.

As Covid cases continue to recede steeply, anti-infectives and respiratory segments also reported a de-growth, pulling the monthly growth down for June, according to data analytics platform IQVIA report.

The Moving Annual Turnover (MAT) growth declined to 10.6% for the month of June from 11.3% in May.

According to an IQVIA report, sales of anti-infectives and respiratory drugs saw a negative growth of 1.7% and 5.6%. The sales of anti infectives fell down to ₹1,590 crore and those of respiratory drugs to ₹1,010 crore.

“Anti-infectives and respiratory segments reported a de-growth,” said the report, adding that anti-viral, antineoplast/immunomodulator, urology and vaccines were the fastest growing therapies for the month of June’23 as compared to June’22.

“The sales of anti-infectives have declined massively as Covid cases waned. Also there is no major flu which is circulating and hence the decline in sales has been reported. We may see this segment going stronger after monsoons,” said Rajiv Singhal, general secretary, All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD).Doctors say there are hardly any Covid cases. “We are seeing patients with flu-like symptoms including fever, body aches, cough, cold. This is seasonal flu. We used to normally see these cases in post monsoon months. This time we are seeing cases earlier than usual,” said Sandeep Budhiraja, group medical director at Max Healthcare and senior director, Institute of Internal Medicine. Overall, he said, it is a mild disease and there is nothing to worry about.

According to the report, the growth in the chronic segment was higher at 12.1% as compared to acute segment growth at 9.7% for MAT June’23.

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