Pharma market gets a December chill

Pharmaceutical market sales growth jumped to 15.5% in November (from 8.9% in October) but slipped to 7.2% in December


Pharmaceutical firms’ December quarter sales growth at 10.6% was lower compared to 15.1% in the year-ago quarter and 13.5% in the September quarter. Graphic by Ajay Negi/Mint
Pharmaceutical firms’ December quarter sales growth at 10.6% was lower compared to 15.1% in the year-ago quarter and 13.5% in the September quarter. Graphic by Ajay Negi/Mint

November saw pharmaceutical market sales jump as chemists were allowed to accept demonetised Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes in exchange for selling medicines.

It also meant fewer prescriptions to fill in December.

Sales growth jumped to 15.5% in November (from 8.9% in October) but slipped to 7.2% in December, according to market research firm AIOCD Pharmasofttech AWACS Pvt. Ltd.

The December quarter’s sales growth at 10.6% was lower compared to 15.1% in the year-ago quarter and 13.5% in the September quarter. Price-led growth has shrunk for the past two quarters, and is attributable to price cuts.

The quarter’s growth figure reflects a slowdown in volume growth and in price growth, with the contribution from new products holding steady.

January data should give an idea of the lasting effect, if any, of demonetization on demand for medicines.

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