An audit of medicine sales shows that the drugs are fast selling in the hospitals than in chemist shops. The hospital chemist shops are gaining importance, according to independent research agency IMS Health’s Total Sales Audit (TSA), for the 12 months to April 2011 the hospital segment grew at 25.9 per cent while the retail and doctor segment grew at 14.7 per cent and 10.1 per cent respectively. The total market grew at 15.3 per cent. The TSA captures drugs sold by stockists to retail chemists, hospitals, and doctors and replaces the agency’s Stockist Sales Audit (SSA) which until April this year was the default audit used by the drug industry and those interested in it to track medicine sales in the country. The SSA only reported sales of stockists to retail chemists but not the other two segments. There was an audit of a separate hospital which was published by the agency but not as frequently as the SSA. The TSA also opened a new channel – stockist sales to doctors that earlier went unreported. The audit has an idea that these days people go straight to specialists in hospitals. There is a conventional belief that demand in hospitals is predominantly for critical care medicine administered in injectible form, 60 per cent of the medicines sold to hospitals are actually to be taken orally. For a year round, sales to hospitals accounted for 9 per cent of the Rs 57,466 crore market, although small compared to retail sales and account for 85 per cent. With more patients going to hospitals, and more hospitals coming up all over the country Savkur expects the segment to grow at between 24 and 26 per cent for the next three years while the overall market grows at 14 to 16 per cent.

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