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Business News/ Companies / News/  Pharma sales drop 19% in April vs March on demand slump
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Pharma sales drop 19% in April vs March on demand slump

The worst hit among the top 20 companies was Cipla, whose sales fall by 28%, while that of Zydus Cadila, GSK Pharma and Dr Reddy’s down by 25%, each
  • There seemes to be less panic buying of medicines for chronic illnesses in the last two weeks of April
  • Pharma sales have been falling since the lockdown began. (Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint)Premium
    Pharma sales have been falling since the lockdown began. (Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint)

    NEW DELHI : Medicine sales have fallen by about 19% in April from the preceding month because of the disruption caused by the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of covid-19, according to preliminary data collated by market research firm AIOCD-AWACS.

    Falling sales led to a 30% jump in inventory levels in April compared to March, showed the data, which compared inventory levels of stockists and sales. There was an inventory of 43 days with pharmaceutical stockists across the country in April compared to 33 days in March.

    “This is the preliminary data. The final sales data will be out later this week. This data shows there is less demand for antibiotic medicines and other short-term therapies. If people are at home and do not eat from outside and also take precautions to avoid airborne diseases, they are less likely to get infections, and so such segments will be down," Ameesh Masurekar, director, AIOCD-AWACS, said in an interview.

    The largest slump in sales of 41% was seen in the anti-infective segment, with inventory levels shooting up to 71 days from 39 days a month earlier.

    There also seemed to be less panic buying of medicines for chronic illnesses in the last two weeks of April, with inventory levels of anti-diabetic and cardiac-care drugs rising to 26 and 31 days, respectively.

    The two segments had the healthiest sales among all therapeutic areas.

    The worst hit among the top 20 companies was Cipla, whose sales fell by 28%, while that of Zydus Cadila, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories were down by 25%, each.

    Cipla is the leader in the respiratory segment, where sales was down by one-third and inventory levels rose by two-thirds to 46 days. Cipla’s own inventory levels were at 47 days, up by 39%.

    The inventory levels of Zydus Cadila, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories were also up by 20-30% to 40-54 days.

    The sales of India’s largest drugmaker, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, were down 17%, while that of the largest multinational in India, the Abbott group, was down by 13%. While Sun Pharma’s inventory levels were at 31 days, Abbott had 44 days of inventory.

    Pharma sales have been falling steadily since the lockdown began, especially for chronic drug segments. Till mid-April, panic buying was rampant in these segments, with inventory falling to less than three weeks for anti-diabetic segments and 23 days for cardiac care drugs on 7 April.

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    Published: 04 May 2020, 02:25 PM IST
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