Due to Covid-19's third wave, Dolo, a paracetamol brand from Bengaluru-based Micro Labs turned India's highest selling medicine brand by revenue in January, along with GSK's antibiotic Augmentin. Both brands had revenues of ₹57 crore each in the month.

Dolo saw a 210% growth while Augmentin 62% in January 2022 as against the same month last year. Pharmaceutical market research firm AIOCD Pharmasofttech AWACS Pvt Ltd, which compiles and analyses the data of medicine sales in the country, has ranked Dolo as no 1 brand, followed by Augmentin, for the month.

On an annual basis, however, India's biggest selling medicine brand is Glenmark's Fabiflu, with trailing 12 month revenue of ₹753 crore. The fact that Fabiflu, a medicine prescribed for Covid-19 patients who are hospitalised ranked 77 with sales of ₹18 crore for the month of January 2022 reflects the decline in hospitalisation among Covid-19 patients now.

For the last 12 month period (moving annual total or MAT) that includes January 2022, Dolo was at the ninth position with sales of ₹474 crore. Augmentin, which is in the third position, had garnered ₹599 crore.

A healthcare market insight services firm Pronto Consult attributes the growth of Dolo to the perception the brand has built in the minds of healthcare professionals across India.

"On an average, Dolo was present in 47% bills generated across India. 53% of the retail chemists have seen new prescriptions of Dolo in recent weeks. 56% healthcare professionals (HCP) say they have prescribed Dolo-65 in the last few weeks. Sore throat, body pain and fever are the main reasons for the enhanced demand," Hari Natarajan, founder of Pronto Consult, says. About 2000 stakeholders were surveyed across India by Pronto for the study.

Natarajan says Dolo has been a consistent performer in the last one decade and has seen spike in sales during Chikungunya, H1N1, Dengue and now Covid-19. "During these outbreaks doctors found that Dolo-650 provided much better relief to the patients from high fever and pain than other paracetamol formulations," the study claims.

The flagship product under Dolo brand, Dolo 650 mg tablet was launched three decades ago when the most commonly available paracetamol formulation was of 500 mg strength. The company says that since Dolo-650 acts for longer duration, the dosage frequency reduces and thereby amount of paracetamol consumed per day is less than what the patients would consume when on Paracetamol 500 mg.

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