Indian drug firms fare better than MNCs in 13

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 20 2014, 05:59am hrs
DrugsOverall, MNC drug makers including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott, Fresenius Kabi and others grew by only 6.5% during the year. Reuters
Domestic pharmaceutical companies including Cipla, Lupin, Glenmark and others grew 11.4% during calendar 2013, significantly outperforming their multinational counterparts, according to an industry report. Overall, MNC drug makers including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott, Fresenius Kabi and others grew by only 6.5% during the year.

Pfizers cough syrup Corex, however, continued to be the top-selling brand last year, followed by Phensedyl cough syrup made by Piramal Healthcare and GSKs antibiotic Augmentin. Anti-diabetics and dermatologicals were the fastest-growing therapies in 2013, with anti-infectives lagging way behind.

During calendar 2013, the pharmaceutical market was reported at R78,644 crore, up 9.9% over the same period a year earlier, according to a report from IMS Health.

Essential medicines, which constitute 17% of the pharma market, showed a decline of 1.1% over the previous year due to implementation of a new price control order. The rest of the market grew at a healthy rate of 12.4%.

IMS Health predicts the India market to grow in double digits to register a compound annual growth rate of 12%, for the period 2012-17, while according to UBS Global Research, Domestic market growth will remain below the last seven years CAGR of 15%, driven by slow economic growth, slower new product introductions and limited factors driving therapy growth.

The domestic market had been growing at a healthy double-digit rate since 2006, driven by a vibrant economy and steady rise in incomes. After clocking a CAGR of 15% during 2008-12, the market slowed progressively and registered a growth of 9.9% in 2013 due to price control measures (DPCO 2013 notification in mid-2013) and uncertainty surrounding its implementation both in the trade as well as at the company level, combined with the overall slump in economy.

Analysts, however, said that the negative impact of the Drug Price Control Order, 2013, has receded significantly with companies deciding to pay higher trade margins to stockists. This in turn has led to normalcy in availability of medicines at the retail level and renewed sales.

A strong seasonal push coupled with the dip during the last quarter of 2012 has helped the market recover in the last quarter of 2013, especially after the DPCO 2013 impact felt during the August-October period, said Kumar Hinduja, senior director, strategy planning & business development, at IMS Health.

The domestic pharma market at Rs 6,679 crore grew 11.3% in December compared with the same month a year earlier.

Seasonal factor also contributed to the robust growth in December. Therapies which are closely linked to winter-related ailments have posted strong double-digit growths (respiratory +18.7%, pain/analgesics +10.1%), resulting in acute therapies growing faster than chronic segment for the second consecutive month, added Hinduja.

IMS Health has forecast the industry growth to be in the range of 10% to 13% in 2014 based on four drivers: Rapid increase in chronic, non-communicable diseases; continuing expansion of corporate hospitals groups, including in non-metro areas; increase in basic health insurance coverage and an expansion of the provision of free essential medicines through public sector facilities; and gradual improvement in macroeconomic growth.