IQVIA, a human data science and advanced analytics firm, says Dolo is leading the charts in the paracetamol segment along with Calpol. A market analyst and expert who did not wish to be identified, said, the sale of Vitamin supplements is also on the rise. “Fever is the most common symptom of Covid-19. Anti-fever drugs and vitamin tablets saw a trebling of sales in the last two years. Pharma companies are making a good profit. But this is part and parcel of any pandemic situation,” the expert says, adding, “the industry will see this surge till 2030.”
The sale of vaccines and complementary drugs have led to pharma companies profiting immensely off the pandemic.
“Pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility towards society, but we cannot blame anyone (for the possibly unwarranted rise in sale of drugs)” according to Dr Sanjay Cherian, a cardiac surgeon. “Nobody’s forcing you to buy these drugs.
Drugs like Dolo are commonly classified as OTC (over-the-counter) medication and are easily available. People tend to go out and buy them even if they have a mild headache and cold, after coming to the false conclusion that they have Covid,” he points out.
Dr Sanjay also notes that a large number of people take vitamin tablets without consulting a doctor. This is a reason for the enormous growth in the sales figures of these drugs. “People should consider supplementary measures to boost their immunity rather than relying completely on these drugs," he suggests.
More seriously, says Dr. Sanjay, many people are taking a lot of antibiotics without a doctor’s proscription. “To an extent, everything goes fine for them, but most of them don’t know when to stop, and that’s when the real problem starts. Over-usage may cause severe, life-threatening liver injury,” he warns.
Doctors and pharmaceutical experts say a lot of doctors prescribe Dolo rather than other paracetamol brands, as it is a time-tested treatment for fever and can be given to people of all ages and has minimal side effects, making it a favourite during this pandemic. “Yes the pandemic situation is helping pharma companies as drugs like these are easily available, but they do cure the symptoms of the pandemic,” says Dr Deepa Shree, Head of the Department of Interventional Radiology, Rela Institute.