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Indian pharmaceutical market grew 7.7% in May compared with 3.5% in April, but the ban on fixed-dose combination (FDC) drugs remains an overhang, says a report.

According to data from the AIOCD-AWACS, the market research wing of the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), the pharmaceutical market saw a growth of 7.7% in May as against 3.5% previous month.

“We believe the impact of the FDC ban should lessen going ahead as companies launch new combinations,” Religare research analyst Praful Bohra said in a report.

On the other hand, the non-FDC category grew relatively better at 8.4% in May as against 4.2% in April, he added.

The Centre recently banned 344 FDC drugs based on the findings of an expert panel.

FDC drugs continued to witness weak growth, mostly in anti-infective and dermatology therapies.

Therapy-wise, the anti-diabetic, neurology/CNS and cardiac segments outperformed the pharma market growth by 250-700 bps, while the gastrointestinal and anti-infective segments were laggards, the AIOCD-AWACS report said.

Most key players underperformed the pharmaceutical market growth but saw improvement over April, it added.

The NLEM and non-NLEM segments in May grew 2.6% and 8.6%, respectively after two months of decline, but were still below the average of 4.7% and 12% posted in the last 12 months.

While volumes were sluggish for both NLEM and non-NLEM drugs, NLEM products were also hit by pricing cuts.

Indian players and MNCs reported a moderate growth of 7.9% and 7%, respectively in May 2016.

Under the non-NLEM category, growth in May for domestic players and MNCs almost doubled to 9% and 7.1% as against April’s 4.6% and 3.3%, respectively.

The report said FDC revenues in the month declined 14.6% due to a continued slowdown in volumes.

Within FDC, anti-infective and dermatology therapies saw the biggest declines in May at 32.3% and 19.6%, respectively.

Overall, Indian companies posted a 20.2% decline in FDCs and MNCs a 0.9% dip.