Therapies for heart disease, diabetes and such ailments, which are spreading fast, are expected to make up about half the pharma market in about 20 years
We, Indians, are not getting any healthier. With people in tier-1, tier-2, and now tier 3 cities increasingly adopting Western lifestyles (eating out, junk food, too many stimulants, lots of work, no exercise, no leisure, money-oriented goals and stress), we are becoming prone to what the pharmaceutical companies refer to—almost lovingly—as ‘lifestyle’ diseases. Among these lifestyle diseases, diabetes and heart trouble are the ones that are likely to get most of us into trouble, with pharmaceutical companies singing all the way to the bank.
Reports suggest that changing demographics, increasing affordability of food and a sedentary lifestyle are key contributing factors to the increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs). So, in short, we are getting richer, but less healthy. Globally, NCDs account for about 60% of all deaths and these are on the increase. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the cumulative economic impact of NCDs on India is estimated at more than $237 billion (about Rs1,066,500 crore) for the 10 years to 2015.
According to a rather grim report from CLSA, an independent brokerage, the spread of diabetes and cardiovascular disease is going to drive growth of new therapies in the Indian pharma market in the next decade. Treatment for chronic diseases, that is long-running ailments such as asthma, diabetes, heart problems, osteoporosis, cancer, and so on, will probably constitute more than half of the Indian pharmaceutical market by 2020! The cardiovascular and diabetes segments will lead growth which, it is estimated, will expand six times by then.
Currently, diabetes affects about 50 million people in India and kills about 4 million people every year (and this is just the official statistic). Recently, the Indian government said it plans to extend the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke to all 650 districts in the country, under the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17).
According to official statistics, more than three million people die due to heart disease every year. Studies indicate that India will have 60% of the world’s heart disease patients this year. A report in the British medical journal The Lancet (special India edition) says that almost 18 million people in India will die of heart problems in 2030.
Once the government declares lifestyle-related diseases notifiable, the statistics that would emerge could be even more shocking. It has already declared cancer as a notifiable disease.
Here is an example of how relevant the disease is to pharma companies in India: While Merck KgaA has discontinued diabetes as a key portfolio in its global pharma business and almost stopped research activities in this area, its Indian arm is planning to launch at least five anti-diabetes products (that is one-third of its total product launches) this year.
CLSA believes that with an improvement in healthcare access and knowledge, people in smaller towns and cities will also begin using drugs to cure these lifestyle-related diseases. The brokerage believes that Sun Pharma, Cadila Healthcare, Torrent Pharma and Cipla are best positioned to take advantage of the changing trends as ‘chronic therapies generate higher revenue’.
Other than the increasing prevalence of these diseases, insurance penetration, medical infrastructure, and income growth (a large contributor) will push market growth.
Anti-infective drugs constitute the largest segment in the Indian pharma market today. Next in line are pain killers, drugs for respiratory, gynecological and dermatological treatment, anti-diabetes, cardiac, and CNS products that have the highest growth.
It is expected that the cardiovascular market will increase at a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 20% over the next two decades. The big players in this market are Sun Pharma, Torrent, Cadila, Unichem, Cipla and Ranbaxy. The largest players (in order) in the oral anti-diabetics market are USV, Sun Pharma, Lupin, Dr Reddy’s, Cadila and Torrent.
(This article is based on secondary research. The report is for information only. None of the stock information, data and company information presented herein constitutes a recommendation or solicitation of any offer to buy or sell any securities. Investors must do their own research and due diligence before acting on any security. Some of the opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and may not necessarily represent those of Moneylife.)
But the risk of a sharp fall remains
The market witnessed a gap-up opening on better-than-expected third quarter earnings reports from blue-chips. Renewed buying interest from institutional investors also supported the upmove. The indices picked up momentum in morning trade and the Sensex regained the 19,000-mark and the Nifty crossed the 5,700 level. The gauges were range-bound in subsequent trade. The market remained listless post-noon, but a sudden bout of institutional buying in the last half-hour lifted the key indices to the day's highs and ensured a close near those levels.
Yesterday, we said that the sharp decline we saw recently is losing momentum and the Sensex and Nifty may enjoy a rally soon. We also wondered whether the rally would be a weak one. The market opened higher, traded well above the opening in a tight range throughout the day and eventually shot up in late trade. We suspect there is a bit more upside for the market, especially if the Nifty trades above 5,750 and the Sensex above 19,200. The advance-decline was poor yesterday, even though the index ended flat. Today, it improved to 734:647 for NSE stocks.
The market breadth was positive. The Sensex had 23 gainers and seven losing stocks at the close, while the Nifty returned with 41 advancing and nine declining stocks. The broader indices put on a tame show today. The BSE Mid-cap index gained 0.45%, while the BSE Small-cap index added 0.28%.
Except the BSE Oil & Gas index, which closed with a loss of 0.12%, all other sectoral indices ended positive. The gainers were led by BSE IT (up 2.60%), BSE Metal (up 2.31%), BSE TECk (up 1.80%), BSE Healthcare (up 1.64%) and BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 1.52%).
The top Sensex gainers were TCS (up 5.48%), Sterlite Industries (up 4.42%), Jindal Steel (up 3.06%), Wipro (up 2.79%) and Cipla (up 2.67%). Reliance Infrastructure (down 4.53%), Tata Power (down 0.92%) and Bharti Airtel (down 0.89%) were the major losers.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday tightened prudential norms for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to protect them from any impact of a possible economic downturn, a development that may push up their lending rates.
Under the new RBI norms, both deposit and non-deposit taking NBFCs will have to set aside 0.25% of performing loans to meet any financial exigencies.
Markets in Asia settled mixed. Gains were led by technology stocks, while commodity prices put pressure on material stocks. China's benchmark index rose on support from better-than-expected earnings from banks. Meanwhile, foreign direct investment in China has registered a 17.4% growth to $105.7 billion in 2010, government data showed. This apart, spending in December rose 15.6% from a year earlier to $14 billion.
The Shanghai Composite added 0.09%, the Jakarta Composite gained 0.37%, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.15%, the Straits Times advanced 0.34% and the Taiwan Weighted surged 1.12%. On the other hand, the Hang Seng ended 0.01% lower, the KLSE Composite was down 0.28% and the Seoul Composite lost 0.16%.
Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of equities worth Rs173 crore on Monday, but domestic institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs359.82 crore.
Indiabulls Real Estate (up 3.33%) today reported a more than 27-fold jump in consolidated net profit to Rs76.61 crore for the quarter ended 31 December 2010, compared to Rs2.76 crore in the year-ago period. Net sales rose to Rs399.66 crore in the third quarter from Rs37.46 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.
Total expenditure increased sharply to Rs284.07 crore in the third quarter against Rs72.86 crore in the year-ago period, due to higher expenses on land, plots and constructed properties.
IT major Mastek (down 3.28%) reported a net loss of Rs27.66 crore for the December quarter, following a dip in revenues from overseas clients. The company had posted a profit of Rs23.50 crore in the corresponding period last year. Total income for the reporting period dropped to Rs152.31 crore from Rs193.23 crore a year ago.
Pharma major Strides Arcolab (up 1.06%) has received approval from the US health regulator for an additional package size of Adenosine injection used in the treatment of cardiac problems. The approval has been given by the US Food and Drug Administration for Adenosine injection USP in the strength of 3 mg/ml packaged in 12 mg/4 ml single-dose vials, Strides Arcolab said in a filing to the exchanges. The product will be launched under a partnership between Strides and Sagent Pharmaceuticals.
The country’s largest lender, which has been slow to respond to customer complaints till recently, has adopted a distinctly fresh approach to resolve such issues
The elephant appears keen to acquire a nimble image. The 48-hour deadline set by the State Bank of India (SBI) chairman for action on customer complaints has hit home hard.
India's largest bank is evolving a distinctly new customer-friendly face, since its chairman OP Bhatt sought fast and prompt action on all complaints filed by the bank's customers in a directive issued earlier last year. The internal communication from a deputy general manager outlined: "Please note that our Chairman desires that all the email complaints forwarded from the Corporate Centre have to be replied to the department within 48 hours."
Here is some impressive evidence of SBI's brand new face. During the last financial year (2009-2010), SBI received 31,862 complaints and was able to resolve 30,588 within an average resolution time of nine days. Thus, SBI was able to achieve 96% success in complaint resolution in the year. (The bank now says it is striving to achieve an average resolution time of less than five days).
Over the past few months, there is a noticeable difference in the manner in which complaints are being handled at the bank. The customer services department has exhibited surprising alacrity in resolving grievances. In fact, over the past six months, Moneylife has noticed a tangible difference in the lender's approach towards complaints.
Moneylife regularly receives complaints on various matters from readers, and forwards these to the respective authorities. As far as SBI is concerned, we are now receiving prompt responses on these complaints.
This is quite a turnaround from the time when complaints would pour in thick and fast into the customer services department of the public sector bank, but the resolution of these complaints took a while. However, that may be a thing of the past, now that the bank has distinctly altered its approach to deal with complaints.
Commenting on the change in attitude towards customer complaints, an SBI official explained, "SBI is making a conscious effort to ensure quick and quality resolution of customer grievances in a customer-friendly manner. The root cause of customer dissatisfaction is the general attitude of resistance to customer complaints. With this realisation, the bank has been working to bring about a turnaround in attitude towards customer dissatisfaction that is reflected in these complaints. Customer complaints are our guiding light towards better customer service. We, in SBI, are targeting to provide more than what the customer expects, as it results in customer delight and is the only way to win and retain a customer."
The bank recently launched an additional channel for customer grievance redressal, called 'SMS Unhappy Service'. This is a dual mobile and web-based system, under which SBI head offices have 'Happy Rooms' which deal with customer grievances. Any customer wanting to lodge a complaint, sends an SMS "UNHAPPY" to a specified number. The Happy Room responds to the SMS by calling back the customer on the mobile number and records the details of the complaint. The complaint is then forwarded to the respective branches through a dedicated website, and they are required to advise a resolution within 48 hours.
This is conveyed immediately to the complainant on the mobile. The system affords the advantage to redress simple complaints in the shortest possible time. It also gives the customer the flexibility to approach his or her banker from anywhere.
The system is unique, in that the bank takes proactive action by calling the customer. SMS Unhappy has helped SBI to make an ABC analysis of customer complaints. The managers found that a majority of customer complaints relate to the lack of response to customer queries. Such complaints are readily resolved by the proactive expert team that handles the service. The bank claims that easy accessibility from anywhere in the country through this channel, and quick redressal of complaints have made customers happy.
The bank explains that a lot of groundwork has gone into changing the attitude of the employees through various programmes such as 'Parivartan', 'SBI Citizen', 'Udan' and 'Jagruti'. All employees, from the messengers and security staff right up to the senior management, were put through an instruction to better understand interpersonal relationships, relating mainly to customers.
The initiative has marked a welcome shift in SBI's approach towards its customers. No doubt there remain several unresolved complaints that the departments still have to look into. But with the top bosses taking a keen interest in the effective resolution of complaints, customers can hope to get these matters sorted out sooner than later.
Please visit http://www.statebankofindia.com for filing complaints to SBI.
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