Apollo Pharmacy, India's first and largest branded pharmacy network with over 1000 outlets across the country has received license from the Drug Controller General of India for the retail sale of Oseltamivir, a drug for the treatment of H1N1 Influenza. The drug is listed under Schedule-X of the drug and cosmetic act 2008.
Rising competition and costs have hit players in the organised pharmacy market. The glitzy outlets that promised to change the face of Retail pharmacy—threatening the existence of the corner medical stores by combining lifestyle products, cosmetics and consumer experience with a wider range of pharma products—are facing pressure during slowdown. This is mainly because shrinking budgets in the tough times have slowed spending on lifestyle products and cosmetics, the high margins categories that kept the format going.
Fortis Healthworld has acquired CRS Health, a Delhi-based pharma and wellness retail chain. It is also planning to rebrand itself and the pharma chains it acquires in future as Religare Wellness.
Today, India has 5.5 million chemists and druggists who constitute the lion’s share of the pharma retail industry. Organized retail market accounts for just 2% of the industry but is registering year-on-year growth at 30% – 40%.
In India pharma retailing is a business estimated to be worth Rs 30,000 crore. It is unorganised and unlike in the West it is largely in the hands of traders.