After GST jitters, pharma market back on growth track in August


After slipping into the negative in July, thanks to a temporary slowdown in drug sales caused by the transition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Indian pharmaceutical market (IPM) was back on track in August, registering 2.4 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth during the month. 

Data from market research firm AIOCD-AWACS show that the market witnessed a slight recovery in August, growing 2.4 per cent. Segment-wise, anti-infectives have declined by eight per cent during the month, while dermatology is still posting a double-digit positive growth of 12.7 per cent. The gastrointestinal segment has grown by 2.4 per cent, while vitamins have posted a slight growth at 1.8 per cent for the month of August.

Data showed that major chronic therapies like anti-diabetic have shown double-digit growth (10.6 per cent). However, the growth has slowed down as compared to that posted in July this year. The cardiac segment has posted single-digit growth for the month (8.1 per cent), while CNS showed improved growth at 5.6 per cent as compared to last month. 

AIOCD-AWACS Director Ameesh Masurekar said that the July slowdown was primarily on account of GST transition and that the impact has petered out. "August 2016 had seen a high YoY growth of 17 per cent and this high base effect has resulted in a low growth rate of 2.4 per cent for August 2017," he said, adding that in the coming quarters, there were no major challenges to IPM growth and that the market should be on track for growth. 

Back in July, drug sales were low owing to GST registration by stockists, software related issues, reduced offtake by stockists ahead of GST implementation, among other things. Fearing a loss of margins, stockists had not taken fresh stocks before the GST was rolled out. 

As for August, data show that among the top 10 corporates, Zydus Cadila has the highest growth at 15.7 per cent, followed by Mankind Pharma at 11.1 per cent, and Lupin at 8.9 per cent.