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Jan 13, 2018 10:19 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Pharma weekly wrap: Sector stocks stay weak on persistent US pricing pressure

Here's a roundup of the key developments in the pharma sector this week.

Viswanath Pilla @@viswanath_pilla

Pharma stocks cooled-off in second week of January, after starting the year on strong note. The overall bullish sentiment of the stock markets didn't rub on to the pharma stocks.

The BSE Healthcare declined 0.05 percent in the past week, while the benchmark Sensex rose 1.1 percent.

Glenmark was the biggest gainer rising 5 percent. Lupin and Cadila Healthcare too posted gains of 1.23 percent and 1.47 percent respectively.

Most stocks including Sun Pharma (-0.45 percent), Dr Reddy's (-0.91 percent), Cipla (-0.73 percent), Aurobindo Pharma (-0.52 percent), Torrent Pharma (-1.79 percent), Divis (-1.79 percent) and Biocon (0.97 percent) saw declines.

Here's What Kept the Sector Buzzing:

The Indian pharmaceutical market (IPM) grew 7.8 percent in December, helped by improved uptake in anti-infectives, respiratory and chronic segment like diabetes, according to market research firm AIOCD-AWACS. For the third quarter ended December, IPM grew 7.2 percent, recovering from the wash out in the second quarter as the industry grew just 0.7 percent due to disruption caused by GST implementation.

Lupin aims for a bigger thrust on the USD 54-billion complex generics market as it tries to insulate itself from increasing competition and consolidation of distribution channel in US in plain vanilla copycat drugs.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said it expects the US, Indian and European markets, along with active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) segment, to contribute over 80 per cent to its sales by 2021. Glenmark also announced this week that it has received US FDA approval for generic oral contraceptive drug Minastrin 24 tablets.

South Africa-based Life Healthcare Group Holdings is looking to sell its 49.7 percent stake in Max Healthcare. The Johannesburg-based company is working with Barclays to explore potential interest in its holding in Max Healthcare, one of India’s largest private hospital chains.

The opportunity in Europe is large with aging population, by 2020, generic medicines are expected to make up 70-80 percent of the medicines used in Europe as several European Union member states push copycat drugs to contain healthcare costs. The economic slowdown isn't helping matters as countries in Europe are increasingly pushing price caps, rebates and procurement of drugs through public tendering as policy prescriptions.
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