InvestorQ : Why has the domestic pharma industry seen negative growth in the month of February 2021?
Priyanka N made post

Why has the domestic pharma industry seen negative growth in the month of February 2021?

Neelam Naik answered.
1 year ago

Let me clarify that pharma did not see a negative growth in February. But it is true that the sales growth in February was slower than in January. Compared to 4.5% growth in Jan-21, the total sales in Feb-21 came down to just 1.1%. The growth has been gradually faltering as the best growth was recorded in December 2020 last year with industry growth at a high level of 8.5%. That weakness in growth is seen in company top lines across the board.

In Feb-21, the key therapy areas of the domestic pharma market witnessed tepid growth. For example, cardiac grew by just 7.3% compared to 8.8% in January. Anti-diabetic drugs segment reported 4.3% growth in Feb-21. The big reason was the anti-infectives segment which accounts for 17% of the pharma market but showed negative growth of -11.3% in Feb-21. The stay-at-home syndrome is reducing the need for anti-infectives.

Another major segment that saw negative growth in February was the respiratory segment. With most people wearing masks and staying indoors, this healthier lifestyle resulted in lower offtake of respiratory drugs. In fact, respiratory medicine sales growth has slumped by -20.3% in the month of Feb-21. Clearly, a healthy life style is taking a toll on the demand for drugs, but that is supposedly a good problem to have.

Apart from the anti-infectives segment and the respiratory segment, even other related segments like pain and analgesics as well as gastrointestinal drugs witnessed tepid growth. In fact, the gastrointestinal therapy drugs business grew at just 9.9% in February compared to a much healthier 14.3% in January. Similarly, pain and analgesics grew by just 2.3% in February compared to a much healthier 5% in January. This applies to all drug companies.