Ahmedabad: As Covid-19 infections began to reduce across the state, a drastic fall was recorded in the sales of medicines used to treat the disease. Estimates of the Federation of Gujarat State Chemists and Druggists’ Association (FGSCDA) suggest that the sales of Covid medicines have dropped by 50% in terms of volumes. These include medicines such as favipiravir, azithromycin, ivermectin, doxycycline, and even paracetamol. There has been a decline in the sales of steroids such as dexamethasone as well.
“The sales of Covid medicines have gone down sharply amid a decline in the cases in Gujarat,” said Alpesh Patel, president, FGSCDA. “The demand for these medicines dropped by at least 50% in the second week of May against the last week of April.” Patel added: “With restrictions being imposed across the state, fresh cases of Covid began to dip. Consequently, the demand for medicines too went down.”
The medicine demand was so high at one stage that many people had hoarded drugs spurred by shortage fears. “Inventory days of medicines had gone down from seven days to a single day. This means medicine stocks which used to sell in a week were off the shelves in a day due to the unprecedented rise in cases,” said an Ahmedabad-based chemist.
“The sales of anti-infectives and antibiotics and other medicines used for Covid treatment had reduced by close to 40% till last week,” said Ankur Aggarwal, founder, Medkart. “With a reduction in cases, the demand has gone down. However, the sales of medicines for mucormycosis have gone up in the past couple of weeks.”
As the situation began to ease, the panic buying of medicines reduced to a great extent. Currently, the demand is largely seen from rural areas across the state. Patel said, “There is no shortage of demand anywhere at this point.” He added: “A lot of patients from nearby talukas and districts are getting admitted in hospitals in Ahmedabad and other urban centres.”