The under Re 1 pill became a household name for pain and fever relief during the pandemic, posting 30% sales growth to around Rs 350 crore last year. The move mirrors the trend of pharma biggies like Cipla, Piramal, Sun Pharma and Mankind entering the wellness play for faster growth, wider reach and higher visibility on the strength of the distribution network. Each of these companies are delivering steady growth in the consumer healthcare portfolio, and registering revenues in the range of Rs 800-1,000 crore annually.
Typically, OTC medicines – those available without a doctor’s prescription – are dominated by immunity-building vitamins, skin ointments, lozenges and pain relief gels, and are growing at a robust 10-15% pace – one of the fastest growing segments in the pharma market.
At present, the Rs 400 crore Dolo brand is marketed under the strength of 650 mg and 500 mg. Under the OTC play, the company will market brand extensions including Dolo 500, Dolo Pain Relief Gel, Dolo Spray, Dolosils cough lozenges, and other products like skin ointments, nicotine gum and ORS. Under the consumer healthcare market, two segments – vitamins & supplements and gastro drugs – are sold the most, at about Rs 15,000 crore and Rs 12,000 crore annually.