After i-pill, Cipla planning another contraceptive

Written by Alok Sharma | New Delhi, Nov 4 | Updated: Nov 5 2007, 07:16am hrs
After introducing the emergency contraceptive i-pill, Mumbai-based pharma major Cipla is now planning to launch the new generation oral contraceptive pill Crescenta by the third week of November. Unlike other brands in the segment, the prescription drug comes without the side effects such as weight gain and pimples.

The products has already received the required regulatory approvals and would be launched by the third week of this month. The pill besides being effective in birth control also addresses the side effects such as weight gain, pimples, and increased blood pressure that discouraged many women to go for oral contraception, medical services director at the company Jaideep Gogtay told FE. The company is also assessing other markets to export the product.

Oral pill is the third most widely used contraceptive method across the world. The share of the pill in contraceptive use is also higher in the more developed regions, where the method is selected by more than one out of every five contraceptive users, compared to its use by one out of every 10 contraceptive users in the less developed regions, director and head, department of diabetes and metabolic diseases at Fortis Hospital, Noida, Anoop Misra said.

The drug would compete with Tarana, a similar drug recently launched by Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma. Both the drugs are generic version of Bayers brand Yasmine and contain drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol, as against the progestin contained in traditional oral contraceptives for women. Drospirenone is believed to be closer to the natural progesterone, while Ethinyl estradiol is one of the most commonly used estrogen in oral contraceptive pills. When asked about the market share of already launched Tarana, chief operating officer at Natco Pharma Rajeev Nannapaneni said: the drug was recently launched in the domestic market and it would not be fair to assess the market in such a short duration.

The Rs 120-crore domestic oral contraception market is witnessing 20% growth per annum. India has a long way to go as oral contraception in the US, accounts for about 30%, while the use of pill is only 3% here, associate director pharmaceutical and life sciences practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers Sujay Shetty, said.