Antibiotic medicine Azithral became the largest-selling pharma brand in January 2022 for the first time ever, overtaking the market leader anti-diabetic therapy – Human Mixtard.

During the third wave in India, when Omicron cases rose exponentially, the widely-prescribed antibiotic registered a growth of 100% in January over December to net Rs 73 crore sales in the organised pharmaceutical retail market.

Antibiotics such as azithromycin, painkillers, anti-infectives and cough syrups were the most prescribed treatment during the Omicron wave. Also, antibiotic brands Azithral and Azee, pain-relief medicines Calpol and Dolo, and cough syrup Grilinctus each posted a year-on-year growth of more than 200% in January, on the back of rising coronavirus cases.

The top orders in the domestic pharma retail market has been dominated by drugs for lifestyle ailments such as diabetes including Human Mixtard (Novo Nordisk), Glycomet-GP (USV) and Lantus (Sanofi).

Anitibiotic zzithral – marketed by Alembic Pharmaceuticals, clocked sales of Rs 450 crore and was ranked 14th-highest selling brand for the full-year ended December 2021, according to the report.

The growth in Covid portfolio in January was led by Dolo marketed by Micro Labs, which grew 307%, while Calpol sold by GSK Pharma jumped 261%. Dolo and Calpol gained 23 ranks each to secure the third and sixth position in the pharma retail market.

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