July 17, 2011

Drugs selling faster in hospitals than chemist shops

A newly-revamped audit of medicine sales in the country shows that drugs are selling faster in hospitals than in chemist shops suggesting that hospitals are gaining in importance as customers of pharmaceutical companies. According to independent research agency IMS Health's Total Sales Audit (TSA), for the 12 months to April 2011 the hospital segment grew at 25.9 per cent while the retail and doctor segment grew at 14.7 per cent and 10.1 per cent respectively. The total market grew at 15.3 per cent.

The TSA captures drugs sold by stockists to retail chemists, hospitals, and doctors and replaces the agency's Stockist Sales Audit (SSA) which until April this year was the default audit used by the drug industry and those interested in it to track medicine sales in the country. The SSA only reported sales of stockists to retail chemists but not the other two segments. A separate hospital audit was published by the agency but not as frequently as the SSA. The TSA also opened a new channel - stockist sales to doctors that earlier went unreported.

The revamped audit brings to light the fact that "these days people go straight to specialists in hospitals," said Sameer Savkur, MD, IMS Health explaining the growth in numbers. He also pointed out that while the conventional belief is that demand in hospitals is predominantly for critical care medicine administered in injectible form, 60 per cent of the medicines sold to hospitals are actually to be taken orally.

For the 12 months to April this year, stockist sales to hospitals accounted for 9 per cent of the Rs 57,466 crore market, still small compared to retail sales that account for 85 per cent. With more patients going to hospitals, and more hospitals coming up all over the country Savkur expects the segment to grow at between 24 and 26 per cent for the next three years while the overall market grows at 14 to 16 per cent.

Link: Original Article

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