With the changing face of the country, the pattern of drug consumption is also changing. Lifestyle-related problems are on the rise, while demand for drugs to combat water-borne diseases and other hygiene related problems are coming down, a Pricewaterhouse Coopers report says.
Indians will be likely to consume more painkillers, stress busters, anti-diabetic drugs and medication for cardiovascular problems, medicines to combat infections and gastrointestinal problems, the report says.
“In 2001, anti-infective and gastrointestinal drugs and vitamins accounted for 50 per cent of the domestic market,” the report says. “By 2012, they are expected to account for just 36 per cent. Conversely, drugs for cardio-vascular problems... and other chronic diseases will account for 64 per cent of total sales, up from 50 per cent in 2001.”
Experts say the change in demand pattern reflects the shift in disease burden.
“Infectious diseases have become less prevalent as healthcare and living standards have improved,” said Dr Hemant Thacker, a consultant at Jaslok Hospital. “But people are living longer and their lifestyles have altered in such a way that they are becoming more prone to diabetes, high cholesterol, cardio-vascular and kidney disease.”
Rising incomes are also boosting demand for medicare.
“Families are spending easily on diseases related to lifestyle such as heart, gynacological and skin,” says Sujay Shetty, associate director of pharma and life sciences, PWC.
“Undisciplined lifestyle with western food habits is increasing patients of lifestyle diseases,” added Dara Patel, secretary general, Indian Drug Manufacturer Association.
(With inputs from Neha Bhayana)