New Delhi: Out of every 100 medicine bills, 92 were for immunity-boosting products, found a new survey.
The number, historically, has been below 40 in non-Covid days, according to the all-India consumer survey done by Pronto Consult, a firm that specialises in doctor perception studies and pharma market insights in India and Middle East.
“With 92 per cent, immunity-boosters are now an increasing trend across the categories not only in medicines, but also food-related products,” found the monthly survey of June, which was released earlier this month.
“Products containing honey, chyawanprash, ginger, moringa oleifera, probiotics, green tea, amla (gooseberry), tulsi (basil), haldi (turmeric), lemongrass, karela (bitter gourd), jamun (berry), saffron seen a trend upwards, including detox brands,” it said.
The survey, which analysed about 4,000 medical bills issued by pharmacies to the consumers, predicted that the pharma industry “might see new launches across these categories in the coming months”.
As many as 87 per cent purchases — which means 87 bills out of 100 — were for nutritional drinks.
“The purchases include chocolate-based drinks, whey protein drinks, malt-based drinks, haldi doodh (turmeric milk), probiotic drinks and coconut water. There was a less uptake in soda-based drinks as compared to earlier times.”
Online searches, it pointed, increased drastically for “immunity” with more searches based on keywords such as “immunity, immune system, zinc, serum, vitamin C and calcium carbonate”.
“There was an increase of over 350 per cent in search for immunity” on Google. Not only metro cities, but even hinterland showed an increase in searches for ‘immunity’, the survey stated.
Anti-diabetes, acidity, heart drugs — other top categories
Medicines for diabetes, acidity and cardiovascular conditions were the other top categories.
As many as 67 per cent of the purchases contained anti-diabetic brands, while 78 per cent contained heart-related brands in the market, the report said.
“There was an increase in purchase of antacids with 71 per cent of the bills containing them. Under cardiac drugs segment, we saw an increase in Telmisartan, Bisoprolol, Benidipine, Amlodipine, Cilnidipine amongst others.”
Also, with the arrival of monsoon season, the survey has noted people stacking up “cough and cold preparations along with anti-bacterials” between 1-20 June.
After lockdown, June noted pick-up in sales
With the national lockdown that came into effect in March, consumers had purchased their medicines in advance for some days due to which the later month registered the fall in sales. Last month, the pick-up in business was noted.
“June was probably the best month in terms of Indian pharmaceuticals market for the first quarter wherein there was a pick-up in the purchases.”
Moreover, with new lockdowns being announced such as in Chennai and West Bengal, “we saw the increase in consumers buying the products for a minimum of 4-6 weeks, thereby July might see a dip”.
“The increase was seen across major cities, clearly demonstrating the buying pattern before the 1st lockdown (in March). The underlying thing that we saw was increase in substitution due to unavailability of certain products.”