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Old is still gold for pharma industry

business Updated: Oct 29, 2010 21:29 IST
Sachin Kumar

Old is still gold for the domestic pharmaceutical industry as far as revenue is concerned. Established brands — more than 25 years of age — such Digene, Corex, Liv-52, Betadine, Revital and others contribute around 70% of the revenue of top 300 Indian pharma brands.

These brands clocked annual revenue of Rs 40,000 crore for the 12 months ending January 2010, of which around Rs 28,000 crore was contributed by old brands.
According to market data provider ORG-IMS, the market size of the domestic pharma industry stood at Rs 60,000 crore at the end of January 2010.

Old or mature brands are cash cows for the companies. Corex, the cough syrup from the Pfizer stable, which is also the top-selling brand in India, has annual revenue of around R186 crore and has been in the market for around 40 years. Voveran from Novartis, Revital from Ranbaxy, Becosules from Pfizer, Digene from

Abbott are among the brands with annual revenue of either more than Rs 100 crore or a little less.

Experts feel that the industry should broad base its portfolio. “It is a matter of concern for the Indian pharmaceutical industry, which has to necessarily depend on all brands, rather than depending on some brands,” said RB Smarta, managing director, Interlink Marketing Consultancy.

According to sector experts, brand building is continuous process and it takes time for a product to become a brand.

“To create a brand is a time and capital consuming exercise. Along with many years of investing, a product has to earn the trust of consumers to become a reputed brand, which is very difficult,” said Kedar Rajadnye, vice-president, OTC division, Piramal Healthcare. Piramal’s Saridon, which has been around for 50 years, has annual revenue of R50-60 crore.