OTC healthcare products: A growth area for India Pharma Inc
Dr Atish Rodge, MD & Founder, Allmpus Laboratories points out that India is an increase in demand for OTC healthcare products and informs that increasing health expenditure due to the pandemic, a sudden rise in lifestyle diseases, and India's massive population makes this segment a promising market for the future
Inspired by the Prime Minister’s vision, India is heading towards being a more ‘AtmaNirbhar’ economy. The healthcare and pharma industries need to play a more prominent role in helping India achieve self-sufficient status.
While reducing the unhealthy dependency on other countries for APIs and raw materials might take some time, Indian pharma companies can shift their focus to a less-ventured market, i.e. over-the-counter (OTC) Drugs.
India’s OTC drugs market was worth $6.38 billion in 2019, with an estimated CAGR of 19.4 per cent. The market holds evident potential to reach 15.48 billion by 2024. The rise in health-conscious consumers and their changing attitude towards self-medication are the factors propelling increased demand, followed by the growing inclination of pharma companies’ towards OTC drugs from RX drugs.
As the 11th largest OTC drug market globally, India is counted amongst one of the most compelling markets across the globe. Increasing health expenditure due to the pandemic, a sudden rise in lifestyle diseases, and India’s massive population make it a promising market for the future.
Indian manufacturers are reaping benefits
Recent developments have given rise to new buying trends. A considerable shift in consumer priorities from foreign manufactured health supplements to the Made in India tagged drugs are expected to flourish in the post-pandemic era.
Indian pharma companies, being closest to the market, have a significant edge over their counterparts, as they know the consumer’s immediate needs and are coming up with products that add value to their lives.
Small manufacturers in India have an opportunity to play on the front foot by manufacturing raw materials and other APIs, finding innovative solutions in the supply networks, and developing essential products that satisfy specific healthcare needs.
Challenges in the growing market
To be successful and relevant in the OTC market, Indian manufacturers need to expand their current arsenal of offerings, develop new products, or reinvent already existing products. To strategise and find new niches as well as remain confident about its value is a challenge in itself. Fortunately, India has many therapeutic segments that can use new OTC products.
Manufacturing remains a difficult challenge considering the sheer amount of R&D and testing involved in getting it production-ready, followed by a long FDA approval cycle. Brand building is another aspect that falls under OTC products’ scope and can be a possible challenge. Since its self-help nature allows enterprises to communicate directly to the consumer, consistent brand building activities become crucial for any OTC product to remain significant.
Allmpus Laboratories sees tremendous opportunity and scope for innovation in the OTC drugs segment and is ready to address the market-demands for the post-COVID 19 era.