Respiratory Drug Foracort No. 1 In Sales

NEW DELHI: The deadly cocktail of growing pollution and smog seems to be choking us immensely. Foracort, used for asthma and respiratory issues, has assumed the top slot in December in domestic pharma market, which has been largely led by either antibiotics or anti-diabetics. This was the second consecutive month of the drug topping the charts, according to the latest data culled from market research firm IQVIA.

Foracort registered Rs 85 crore of sales, with a growth of 22% in December, in an otherwise lacklustre market. The first time in recent months it jumped to the number 1 rank was in November 2023, netting sales of Rs 81 crore, recording one of the highest growths during the month. Typically, either antibiotic Augmentin or anti-diabetic Mixtard have maintained the pole position in the organised pharma retail market.

The latest trend is in line with the rising pollution and harsh cold in the North and resurgence of Covid-19 across the country, experts told TOI. Exposure to air pollution can aggravate asthma and respiratory infections, and can even lead to serious issues like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Foracort’s growth was the second-highest, with Liv-52 growing the most at 36% among top 10 brands in December.

Growth drivers included cardiac and gastro therapies, rising 8% and 6% respectively, in a market, which grew only 5% to Rs 18,067 crore in December. Overall, pharma retail market was valued at Rs 2,13,139 crore, growing 10% for MAT (moving annual total) December, or 12-month period ended December.

Anti-diabetic, derma and gynae sales underperformed the market, hurting overall growth, an analyst from Motilal Oswal said. As against this, urology, ophthal, cardiac, pain therapies led the y-o-y growth on MAT basis, growing 14.2%, 11.3%, 10.4% and 10.2% respectively. Antibiotic Augmentin and anti-diabetic Mixtard with sales at Rs 67 crore and Rs 68 crore each, respectively, registered a decline of 14% and 11% year-on-year in December among top 10 brands.

Both domestic and MNC pharma companies posted sluggish mid-single digit growth, around 4-5% each y-o-y. As of December, domestic companies hold a majority share of 83% in the pharma market, while the rest is held by MNCs.

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