Medicine production declines as sales falter

KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 27

Medicine production and consumption has declined in recent days in the country.

Among other sectors, the COVID-19 pandemic has also affected the medicine production and distribution sector. Dropping sales of medicines is the major reason behind declining medicine production, according to the Association of Pharmaceutical Producers of Nepal (APPON).

As per a report prepared by APPON, medicine production has declined by 30 to 40 per cent since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The association has mentioned that the habit which people had developed of visiting clinics or hospitals for any small reason and taking medicines even for a headache has declined during the pandemic.

As a result, the sales of medicines have also dropped in the market.

Except for sales of the regular medicines that people have been prescribed for long-term illnesses sales of every other normal medicine have decreased. As per the association, medicine sales slumped by 94 per cent, while its orders also plunged by 92 per cent during the lockdown period.

According to APPON, sales of 88 per cent of vitamins and minerals declined during the lockdown period.

Likewise, sales of 86 per cent of medicines related to gynaecology dropped, while sales of 84 per cent of medicines related to dermatology decreased during the lockdown.

Similarly, sales of 82 per cent of anti-infective medicines, 78 per cent of gastrointestinal medicines, 67 per cent of medicines related to common cold and 59 per cent related to pain and analgesics have dropped in the market due to the lockdown. The association mentioned that the aforementioned data is a tentative analysis though.

Not only production but the import of medicines has also declined, as per the association. According to the Department of Customs, medicines worth Rs 11.33 billion were imported in the first five months of the current fiscal year. However, during the same period of the previous fiscal year medicines worth Rs 13.27 billion had been imported.