New Delhi: Glenmark’s FabiFlu — the generic version of Japanese anti-influenza drug Favipiravir — is now the top-selling brand in the pharma retail market of India, data shows.
Sales of the drug — which was running short of supply and saw constant SOS calls floating on social media — went up by over 600 per cent or six times, in one month.
FabiFlu has now replaced multivitamin drug Zincovit, with sales of Rs 351 crore in the month of April alone, when India witnessed the highest number of infections, hospitalisations and deaths.
In March, FabiFlu registered sales of Rs 48.3 crore when India was registering around 15,000 cases daily.
Since the launch of the drug last June, Mumbai-based Glenmark has registered a turnover of Rs 762 crore, almost half of which it earned last month.
According to data from the All Indian Origin Chemists & Distributors Ltd (AIOCD), FabiFlu topped the list of drugs with maximum sales value in the past year (moving annual turnover). Till last month, the list included anti-diabetes drugs such as Abbot’s insulin brand Mixtard, Glycomet GP, Sanofi’s Lantus and Merck’s Janumet among the top three selling brands, with sale values fluctuating between Rs 470 crore and Rs 550 crore.
FabiFlu is approved to be used to treat mild-to-moderate Covid-19 in adults under restricted emergency use.
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Key Covid drugs topping the sales charts
The other top-selling drugs in April, when Covid cases in India first breached 4 lakh infections a day, were Zincovit, Dolo, Monocef and Betadine. All of these drugs are used in the treatment of Covid-19.
Zincovit has been topping the chart since last October after the use of Zinc tablets gained prominence in the treatment of Covid-19.
Manufactured by Apex Laboratories, the drug registered the second highest sales of Rs 93.5 crore in April.
“Companies selling products, which fall directly or indirectly under Covid segments have registered bumper sales in the month of April. Changes in brands and company rankings have been seen this month,” Rajiv Singhal, secretary-general, AIOCD told ThePrint.
The list, however, does not include another popular Covid-19 drug remdesivir since it is not sold via retail chemists.
Also read: Remdesivir, favipiravir sales zoom to record Rs 1,000 crore in 7 months in Covid year
Impact of Covid on pharma industry
While the country struggled with the ferocious wave of Covid-19 infections, the domestic pharma industry registered a growth of 51.5 per cent in April this year as compared to March. Annually, it registered turnover growth of over 6 per cent whereas quarterly, it grew by 20 per cent.
The data released by the research firm shows that the Covid wave has boosted the sales of drugs having a direct or even indirect role in treatment.
In yearly comparison, this April turned out to be much better than last April, when the industry had registered a dip due to the lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 March.
Also read: Modi govt panel rejects proposal to make chewable Favipiravir tablets for Covid patients