Which drugmakers outperformed peers in local pharma market in January?
The Indian pharmaceutical market was impacted last year as the pandemic disrupted the supply chain, but recorded a sharp bounce-back in mid-2021 as the severity of the coronavirus spread led to a major jump in hospitalisation and mortality before slowing down in the last quarter of the year.
However, sales growth in the local market has shot up in the first month of 2022. The Indian pharmaceutical market (IPM) delivered strong growth of 13.9% year-on-year in January 2022, against a lower base in January 2021 (4.5% year-on-year growth) and higher sales led by Omicron cases.
Given the sharp surge in sales in the first half of the current financial year, especially during the first quarter, the industry seems poised to clock what could be the best performance in at least six years, data compiled by Fitch’s India Ratings (Ind-Ra) along with pharmacy industry group AIOCD shows.
India Ratings had previously said it expects the industry to grow 12% during the year ending March 2022, on a low base of just 2% growth in the previous year.
This would be higher than the growth clocked during FY17, FY19 and FY20 when domestic sales grew 10%.
The acute therapy segment reported robust growth compared to sub-chronic and chronic segments in January. Ind-Ra said that this segment has been showing a robust performance since March 2021 (average growth at 27% YoY).
The acute therapy segment reported a 22.2% rise in January over last year (December 2021: 5.3% YoY; November 2021: 6% YoY) while slower growth was seen in chronic and sub-chronic therapy segments at 7.3% and 7.1%, respectively, in January 2022.
During FY21, the acute therapy segment reported negative growth on account of COVID-19 while the chronic therapy segment reported average growth of 7%.
What’s moving from the shelves, what’s not
If we look at the key product categories that drive domestic sales for the pharma industry, cardiac, anti-infective, gastro and anti-diabetic are the key therapies account for half of the total sales.
In the most recent month of January 2022, anti-infectives and gastro led the show with 20% plus rise over the same month last year. Vitamins also posted double digit growth with cardiac and anti-diabetic segments managing with single digit growth. To be fair, cardiac segment grew just short of the 10% mark during the month.
This came after a month when none of the key categories managed to grow in double digits. Indeed, sales of anti-infectives actually declined year on year while that of anti-diabetic medicines barely grew in December 2021.
Which companies are growing faster?
If we look at key companies’ performance during the month of January against the category of medicines, some clearly outperformed.
In the cardiac segment, USV and Emcure grew above category average and larger peers Sun Pharma, Torrent and Lupin.
In the anti-infectives category, Aristo and Macleods were the top performers. In the gastro space, Abbott, Aristo and Torrent grew faster than their peers. For anti-diabetic segment, which had a slow growth of just 6.7% year-on-year, Abbott and Sanofi were the top sellers followed by USV.
In the vitamins space, Sun Pharma and Torrent grew faster than the category average in the first month of the year.
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