India’s largest drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical is looking to leverage the over-the-counter (OTC) drugs’ portfolio of Ranbaxy Laboratories, which it acquired two years ago, to expand its global presence.
Sun Pharma had no presence in the high-volumes OTC segment — medicines sold directly to a consumer without prescription — before the acquisition of Ranbaxy.
It recently rolled out its first OTC drug, antacid Pepmelt, that will compete with Eno, Digene and Pudin Hara.
“Our consumer healthcare or OTC business is a result of acquisition of Ranbaxy. It is a high-margin, high-growth business. We want to use this as a base to create a global OTC presence,” Dilip Shanghvi, managing director, Sun Pharma, told HT. “So, we are actually giving lot of internal focus and importance to it.”
When Sun Pharma acquired Ranbaxy, consumer healthcare was the latter’s fastest-growing businesses, with leading brands such as Revital, Volini, Chericof, Pepfiz and Garlic Pearls. Ranbaxy has around 15 OTC products, which contributed over 20% to Ranbaxy’s sales before the acquisition.
“The two top-growing segments in OTC are health supplements and analgesics and we are witnessing growth healthier than the growth rate of the entire OTC market,” said Subodh Marwah, vice-president, consumer healthcare business, Sun Pharma.
“So we are actually giving lot of internal focus and importance on growing that part of the business,” he added.
“Consumer health business is important for our future growth not only in India but in other markets where we have a presence, where our idea is to grow the business and look at potential inorganic opportunities,” Shanghvi said.
According to market analysts, OTC medicines contribute 10-15% of Sun Pharma’s revenues. Brands such Revital (health supplement) and Volini (analgesic) feature among top 10 brands of the country and Sun Pharma is likely to make significant investments in these categories.
As per Neilsen estimates, the antacids category is currently pegged at over Rs 1,180 crore, growing at around 21% every year. The total OTC market in India is pegged at around `5,300 crore, growing annually at 12-13%.