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Prescription drug sales surge in October
  • By So Jae-hyeon
  • Published 2018.11.23 11:42
  • Updated 2018.11.23 11:42
  • comments 0

Sales of prescription medicines grew significantly in October, compared to the previous month, industry data showed Friday.

The combined sales of top 30 prescription drugs amounted to 179.8 billion won ($158.9 million) in October, up 16.9 percent from 153.7 billion won in September, according to data from UBIST, a pharmaceutical market data research firm.

All of the 30 products posted double-digit growth last month, apparently boosted by more business days in October than in September that had fewer business days due to 10-day Chuseok holiday.

Pfizer’s anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor topped the prescription drug sales with 14.8 billion won in October, jumping 18.8 percent from 12.5 billion won in September. Gilead’s liver treatment Viread sold 13.9 billion won in October, up 19.4 percent from 11.7 billion won in the previous month.

Lipitor and Viread have been posting more than 10 billion won monthly sales this year. Until September, Lipitor sold 134.6 billion won, and Viread, 131.1 billion won. Depending on the performance in the last three months of the year, Viread may outperform Lipitor.

Boehringer Ingelheim’s hypertension treatment Twynsta sold 73.7 billion won, up 15.2 percent, and Handok’s arteriosclerosis drug Plavix, 7.1 billion won, up 17.9 percent.

Both Daewoong Bio’s cognition-boosting Gliatamine and its rival drug Gliatilin by Chong Kun Dang had significant growth in sales.

Daewoong’s Gliatamin, a generic copy, sold 7.1 billion won in October, which was up 18.5 percent from September. Chong Kun Dang’s Gliatilin, the original drug, sold 5.9 billion won in October, up 20.1 percent. Daewwong Bio was ahead of Chong Kun Dang in quantity, but vice versa in growth pace.

LG Chem’s diabetes agent Zemimet, which combines Zemiglo and metformin, ranked 21st in prescription sales, with 4.9 billion won. Boryung Pharmaceutical’s antihypertensive drug Kanarb ranked 30th, with 3.6 billion won, up 15.6 percent from the previous month.

Among the 30 local novel drugs with CJ HealthCare’s K-Cab listed as the 30th one in July, Zemiglo-group medicines such as Zemiglo and Zemimet and Kanarb family drugs such as Kanarb and Ducarb.

Celltrion Pharm’s liver drug Godex had the highest prescription sales among prescription drugs for liver treatment. Godex prescriptions surged 20.4 percent to 4.6 billion won in October from 3.8 billion won in September.

“Due to fewer business days, the prescription market was quite sluggish in September. Better results in October were recovery from the sales declines in September,” an official at a pharmaceutical firm said. “The current earnings status tells how the fourth-quarter sales will unfold. As most drugmakers suffered a drop in earnings in the third quarter, they will aggressively push sales in the fourth quarter.”


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