No big freebies, ₹6 cr spent annually on marketing: Dolo 650 maker | Mint
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Business News/ Companies / People/  No big freebies, 6 cr spent annually on marketing: Dolo 650 maker
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No big freebies, ₹6 cr spent annually on marketing: Dolo 650 maker

Dolo 650 has been a brand leader for the last 20 years and we have been promoting the drug with a large field force, says Jayaraj Govindaraju, Executive VP, Micro Labs

Jayaraj Govindaraju, Executive VP, Micro LabsPremium
Jayaraj Govindaraju, Executive VP, Micro Labs

NEW DELHI : A senior executive at the company that makes Dolo 650 said the only promotional goodies it gave doctors are samples of the anti-fever drug, pens, writing pads, books, masks and hand sanitizers. 

In an interview, Micro Labs executive VP Jayaraj Govindaraju rejected trade union charges the firm spent 1,000 crore on handing out freebies to medical professionals over the last two years, saying it would have spent 2 or 3% of the annual revenue, or around 5-6 crore, on marketing or freebies. He said the drug generated 350 crore in revenue during the pandemic.

Edited excerpts:

Do you see this as a crisis? 

We do not see it as a crisis, rather I would say that it is an unnecessary thing happening. We feel heartburn because of all the hard work we did during the covid pandemic to ensure that the product is available everywhere. We sacrificed some of the most profitable brands as we stopped manufacturing them and we focused on doubling the production of Dolo650mg which is under price control by National Price Pharmaceutical Authority (NPPA). 

Did the company provide freebies to doctors to promote the drug? 

This brand or product doesn’t require marketing of 1,000 crore of freebies to promote the Dolo 650 drug. It is absolutely baseless and I am 100% clear about it because for Dolo every strategy, action and activities start from my department. 

Apart from normal samples, pens, writing pads, small printed books, hand sanitizers and masks, no major so-called freebies or big gifts have been given to doctors for anti-fever drug. 

Dolo 650 has been a brand leader for the last 20 years and we have been promoting the drug with a large field force. We were first in the market to launch this drug with this milligram and we saw that the brand got traction year after year for the management of fever. 

What is your view of the episode? 

I am seeing it as an income tax raid which routinely happens. Recently, when Micro Labs was raided by income tax department, they issued a press release and it came out as maker of Dolo 650. Income tax officials have collected all the documents and we have provided our full support to them.

 They have reported it as 1,000 crore the company has spent on freebies.  We are going to see for ourselves how much we have spent on freebies. It is going to be very little and not even 2-3% of the turnover 350 crore for Dolo 650 in the last years. This should come to around 5-6 crore in a year. 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Priyanka Sharma
Priyanka Shamra is a health and pharma journalist with nearly nine years of field reporting experience. She is a special correspondent with Mint. Her beat includes covering the Ministry of Health and Department of Pharmaceuticals. She also covers the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Biotechnology.
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Published: 22 Aug 2022, 12:39 AM IST
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