Thursday, 14 November 2013

incresed sale of anti-diabetic drugs a concern in India

There is worrying news emerging from the Indian retail market for medicines: Anti-diabetes medicines is one of the fastest growing medicine segments today, according to AIOCD Pharmasofttech AWACS, a pharma market research company that provides trends in pharma retail sales based on data sourced from pharma retail stockists.

Over 12 months (October 2012 to September 2013), it says, this segment posted a 11 per cent growth. In comparison, the current pharma industry growth in India is just around 7 per cent, which incidentally, according to those in the industy, is less than its normal growth rate of around 10 to 12 per cent on account of several factors including the impact of price controls imposed on an expanded list of essential drugs.

The data from AIOCD AWACS points out that the anti-diabetics segment is the seventh largest medicine market segment by value. It is a Rs 4,964 crore or one could say close to Rs 5,000 crore. Anti-infectives or antibiotic is the leading segment, followed by cardiac, and gastro-intestinal, ranked third. This is followed by vitamins/minerals/nutrients, then medicines for respiratory disorders and pain and analgesics at sixth position.

Take Sun Pharma for instance, which is one of the leading companies in the anti-diabetics segment. Its spokesperson says, anti-diabetics is one of the fastest growing market segments for the company other than gastro and cardiac. For Sun Pharma, anti-diabetes is the fourth largest segment.

It accounts for 11 per cent of its India revenues. It is a Rs 400-crore market for the company in India.

The fact that anti-diabetes medication as one of the fastest growing markets should not come as a surprise, experts say.

It is present in several cities in the country today. He says what is more worrying is that the disease is now seeing an onset amongst young people in who are in their 20s and 30s. Also, it is starting to affect people belonging to the middle income and poor sections of society.

The average insulin-based therapy costs around Rs 5,000 per month. It could burn a hole in the pockets of those unable to afford such continuous, added expenses. India, he says, has a total of 63 million diabetic patients today. Oncology and cancer care are some other fast-growing segments.

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