Cough medicine brands are the biggest sellers


NEW DELHI: When diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure become our way of life, coughs and colds always bother us the most.
Cough and cold formulations peaked among the top 10 selling brands in the domestic market, with total sales reaching Rs 270 crore, compared to sales of a single diabetes drug (insulin) reaching Rs 90 crore.
The cough and cold segment led by Phensedyl Cough Linctus and Corex cough syrup was the top-selling category in 2006, followed by the pain reliever drug Voveran. The antibiotic Taxim and the Becosule Vitamin B complex capsules are the fourth and fifth brands in terms of volume.
The cough and cold segment is the largest segment, largely because most brands are available without a prescription, according to industry experts.
Nicholas Piramal’s Phensedyl, which was the No.1 brand, grew almost 50% from January to October 2006 with volumes reaching Rs 135 crore (latest figures from retail agency ORG-IMS). The brand also recorded the strongest growth among the top 10 brands. Close behind is Pfizer’s Corex cough syrup, which has regained lost ground and increased by 26% over the same period.
“Cough, cold, flu and vitamin formulations, etc., make up a large share of the pharmaceutical market in India, mainly due to self-medication and non-reliance on doctors. Internationally, too, allergies are an important segment, ”said Cipla Managing Director Amar Lulla.
Other top-selling brands in the domestic market include Liv-52 from Himalayas, Augmentin from GlaxoSmithkline, Human Mixtard (insulin) from Abbott, and Ranbaxy’s antibiotic, Cifran. All of the top 10 brands also saw tremendous growth over the past year.
The national pharmaceutical market, with a size of Rs 35,000 crore, is largely fragmented, with many small players. Of that total, the top 300 Indian brands account for over Rs 26,000 crore, with the largest company holding a 5-6% market share, while the largest brand is less than 1%. The market grew by 16.5% over the period January-October 2006. After Phensydyl and Corex, Liv-52 showed maximum growth of 24.85%.
According to Sujay Shetty, Associate Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers, “With people adopting unhealthy lifestyles, diseases like diabetes are quickly catching up and will occupy more of the big brands over the next few years.”
In many cases, the problem goes undiagnosed in India, while others simply cannot afford the treatment as it is expensive and recurring.
Among the top-selling brands for diabetes, Human Mixtard, a brand of recombinant human insulin marketed by Abbott, posted growth of 17.38% during the period and was ranked number eight.


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