Chronicle Pharmabiz Special
'Retail pharma market growth phenomenal in Sri Lanka'
The history of modern pharmaceutical retail market in Sri Lanka begins in the early sixties. And it was in the latter half of 1962, a very important recommendation by the Formulary Committee of the Department of Health kicked off the market to the new era of strategic approaches. The Committee, which undertook the task of studying the therapeutic usefulness of all drugs marketed in Ceylon at that time and recommended that the import of drugs should be restricted to only those items which were approved by the Committee as therapeutically valuable drugs. These drugs were classified as 'non-proprietary' and 'proprietary'. However, the lists of these drugs were amended from time to time and amendments consisted of additions and deletions. Over a period of more than four decades, the retail market grew multifold both in value and volume along with the terminology itself. The growth was exceptional, says
M Balasubramaniam, Director and Country Manager, IMS Health Lanka, in an interview with
C H Unnikrishnan
The retail pharma market in Sri Lanka witnessed an unusual growth after 1968. What are the factors, which really helped such an expansion of the market?
The import of drugs, which commenced in a big way in Sri Lanka after 1968, has been considered a significant and the first step towards the expansion of the drug market in the country. After the formation of the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC), which stared imports of 30 essential molecules as per the WHO guidelines, it opened up a broader avenue for the growth of the retail pharmacy market in the country.
Though the availability of essential drugs through an organized government channel was ensured by SPC at that point of time, it was the beginning of an era, which brought the confidence among the suppliers abroad to look at this market seriously. At present, the retail pharmacy market, which is seriously focused by more than 200 suppliers, has grown to SL Rs 7100 million. The annual growth what have recorded in the last 10 years has been around 17 per cent, which is again very significant.
What is the number of pharmacies covered by IMS audit?
At present, we cover 1,800 pharmacies in our retail audit. We will be able to cover 2000 pharmacies in next term. Currently we have 14 Osu Salas (retail pharmacies run by the State Pharmaceutical Corporation) and another 100 retail pharmacies in the private sector in our audit panel.
What is the break up of the various segments in pharmaceutical market in the country at present?
Out of the total retail market of SL Rs 7100 million, the sales of nutritional products are estimated to SL Rs 206 million and protein supplements amounts to SL Rs 26.42 million. Both these segments are growing at 21 per cent per annum.
How many new products are introduced in the market in each year?
On an average basis, every quarter of year the market gets around 100 to 150 new products. In the fourth quarter of 2001, there were 173 new product were introduced in the market comprises of 84 therapeutic classes. Almost 30 per cent of the market is accounted for 50 essential products and another 43 per cent is constituted by the rest of 100 products.
Which are the top 10 products in the market by value?
Cycloson is ranked the top most brand with 2.06 per cent market share, and the products like Sustagen with 2.04 per cent, Panadol with 1.14 per cent, Evion with .88 per cent, Sporidex with .87 per cent, Guardian Multivita with .83 per cent, Amoxycillin with .79 per cent, Nicardia with .75 per cent, Erythrocin with .73 per cent and Piriton with .72 per cent are subsequently. The top ten manufacturers in the market are GSK, Astron, Astron, SPMC, Pharmachemie, Ranbaxy, Mead Johnson Nutr, Abbott, Aventis, Sun Pharma and Jenssen-Cilag. The top ten manufacturers are accounted for 33 per cent of the market and the next 20 are accounted for 53 per cent and the following 40 are accounted of 76 per cent market share.
What are the top ten therapeutic class which move in the market?
The therapeutic segment of alimentary tract and metabolism accounted for 21 per cent of the market share. The systemic anti infectives comes next with 15 per cent. Respiratory system, cardiovascular, central nervous system, dermatological system, musculo-skeletal system are follows the list with 13, 12, 8, 8, 5 per cent market share respectively. Overall, the branded products (including branded generics) hold 94 per cent of the market share.