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CIPLA has edged past Ranbaxy Laboratories to become the No. 1 company in the domestic pharma retail market. It pipped Ranbaxy for the 12-month period ended May 2007 while Ranbaxy was the market leader in terms of domestic marketshare for the 12 months ended in March and April.

According to ORG figures, for the year ended May 2007, Cipla is the market leader with 5.05% marketshare closely followed by Ranbaxy Laboratories at 5.04%. Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) is at the third position with 5%. For the month of May alone, Cipla’s marketshare was 5.05% against Ranbaxy Laboratories 4.82%. Incidentally, on a monthly basis, Cipla has been the market leader for the last three months.

Cipla, Ranbaxy and GSK have been the top contenders for the top slot for some years now. Ranbaxy has been the dominant player, leading the market since July last year.

GSK briefly took the top position earlier this year but Ranbaxy regained the No.1 position in March for the 12-month period, only to be replaced by Cipla in May.
Cipla, however, downplayed its new position. “The ORG figures are taken from a small sample and give a broad indication of the industry trend,” company joint MD Amar Lulla said.

ORG figures are based on the sales data of around 1500 chemist stores across the country. When contacted, a Ranbaxy Laboratories spokesperson said, “We are confident of being No 1.”

In terms of revenue, the marginal difference of 0.1% in market share means that Cipla’s revenue from domestic market is about Rs 2 crore more than Ranbaxy Laboratories in retail sales. The market share ranking is, however, different from the revenue ranking of pharma companies. That’s because overseas revenue constitutes a large portion of the overall revenue of the big pharma companies. In revenue terms, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories is the largest pharma company followed by Ranbaxy.

While Cipla, Ranbaxy and GSK have been jokeying for the top position in the domestic retail market for the past few years, a domestic acquisition by any one of them would give that company an unassailable lead. Ranbaxy has been eyeing an acquisition in the domestic market for a while now.

ORG figures do not include the Rs 7,000 crore hospital sales, and therefore the market share in retail sales may differ from the overall market share.

According to ORG figures, Mankind Pharma is the fastest growing pharma company in the top 50.

As a matter of fact, while the market shares of majors such as Cipla, Ranbaxy Laboratories and GSK have either remained stable or have marginally gone down from around 5% over the past few years, small and mid size pharma companies have made a significant presence in the market.

Mankind with 2% market share (ranked 15%) and Elder and Emcure Pharma with one percent each have made it to the top 30.

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