Antibiotics and anti-bacterial drugs dominated domestic pharma retail market in the  first quarter (January-March) of the financial year. These include Augmentin (manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline), Mox (Ranbaxy), Zifi (FDC Ltd) and Taxim (Alkem).

Augmentin is ranked four with cumulative sales of Rs 27.4 crore, Mox is the fifth largest drug with cumulative sales of Rs 26.6 crore, followed by Zifi at number seven position (Rs 23.6 crore). Taxim- another antibiotic medicine is the ninth largest, netting sales of Rs 22 crore in January-March quarter.

All these drugs have also shown a huge double-digit growth, with anti-bacterial medicine Zifi growing by nearly 40% during the quarter (37% in March alone) and Mox netting 30% growth. Even in March, the rankings are similar to the quarter, with Augmentin the fourth largest drug, followed by Zifi, Mox and Taxim at number 9 slot.

Doctors attribute the growth in sales of these drugs to the fact that these antibiotics are used to treat a wide variety of infections, and do not have many side effects. Last year (January-December 2007), Taxim was the fifth largest drug followed by Augmentin.

During the first quarter of 2008, cough and cold medicine Corex was the number one brand with sales of Rs 36.65 crore, followed by painkiller Voveran. During March alone Voveran had marginally higher sales of Rs 10.54 crore as against Corex, which registered sales of Rs 10.49 crore.

Interestingly, the growth of the industry is mainly driven by the chronic segment (like cardio-vasculars, diabetics, central nervous system), which have grown by 17-18% last year. Against this backdrop, off take of acute segments (anti-infective, gastro-intestinal, nutritional) has been slow and grown by 10-15% only, industry experts said.