NEW DELHI : A low base coupled with an early festival season helped pharmaceutical sales rise 14.5% year-on-year to 12,624 crore in November, with sales of most Indian drug manufacturers outpacing their foreign peers, data from market research firm AIOCD-AWACS showed.

The market research firm said the sales were “one of the best growths seen in more than 32 months", and attributed it to the weak 7% sales growth seen in the corresponding month last year, as well as the entire festival season ending in October itself this year. Last year, Diwali was in November.

Among the top 10 drug manufacturers, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Cipla, Cadila Healthcare, Lupin, Mankind Pharmaceuticals, Alkem Laboratories and Torrent Pharmaceuticals posted sales growth in the range of 12.6-17.9% in November.

India’s largest firm Sun Pharmaceutical posted a 14.5% growth in sales for the month to 1,035 crore, while the Abbott group, the largest multinational firm and India’s second-largest, posted 12% growth to 779 crore.

While sales of drugs under national list of essential medicines, which come under price control, grew 15.2% to 1,245 crores, that of medicines not under price control grew 14.6% to 10,866 crores.

Among the major therapy segments, anti-infective and respiratory drug sales led the growth with 17.0% and 19.7% respectively in November.

Over the last few years, medicines in anti-diabetic and cardiac segments have led sales growth, reflecting their increasing cases among the Indian population. For the year ending November, these two segments were the only ones in the top-10 therapies that grew in double digits.

For the year ending November, sales in the Indian pharmaceutical market grew 9.8% at 1.39 lakh crore, with Lupin, Mankind Pharma, Intas Pharmaceuticals and Alkem Laboratories leading the growth.