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Business News/ News / India/  Foul air quality caused a surge in asthma drug sales in January
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Foul air quality caused a surge in asthma drug sales in January

Central Pollution Control Board data shows that this January saw three ‘severe’ AQI days and an intense spell of polluted days with the air quality ‘very poor’ for a majority of days

Heavy smog on a cold January morning in New Delhi. (Photo: HT)Premium
Heavy smog on a cold January morning in New Delhi. (Photo: HT)

New Delhi: Asthma drugs sold the most among medicines in January as a severe winter combined with dangerous levels of pollution caused widespread breathing problems, according to reports published by data analytical companies IQVIA and Pharmarack.

The second most common sales at pharmaies was for cardiac drugs, anti-infection drugs and gastrointestinal medicines.

In December, it was cardiac drugs that sold the most. As per IQVIA's report for January, Foracort, used for asthma and respiratory issues, saw the highest growth in sales, followed by insulins Mixtard and Lantus, Betadine, an antiseptic, Moxikind-CV, used in the treatment of bacterial infections, and Levipil an epilepsy drug.

Among cardiac drugs, Enoxaparin, which is used to prevent blood clots in the leg in patients who are on bedrest or having a hip or knee replacement, or stomach surgery, saw the highest monthly sales growth of 20% in January.

"There was a huge rise in the number of asthma patients this time. We witnessed that the surge was not restricted to any particular age group and the rise was seen across all age groups. However, we observed more severity in elderly. As a precautionary measure, inhalers and nebulisers are recommend for asthma patients in cases of emergency. Patients are managed with an asthma action plan so that treatment can be started at home in case of emergency," said Dr Neetu Jain, senior consultant, pulmonology critical care and sleep medicine, PSRI hospital.

In Delhi, January was the most polluted month since 2016 with an average Air Quality Index (AQI) of 354. The highest average AQI in January was recorded in 2016 at 370. 

Central Pollution Control Board data shows that this January saw three ‘severe’ AQI days and an intense spell of polluted days with the air quality ‘very poor’ for a majority of days. Only one ‘poor’ air day was reported this January.

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Published: 21 Feb 2024, 05:21 PM IST
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