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OTC sales to boom in India

Euromonitor Intl. (www.euromonitor.com) reports that a revision of legislation controlling drug and cosmetics sales in India "will widen availability through grocers and department stores."

A 2006 report said 80% of OTC healthcare products were sold through chemists and drug stores, with the rest going to grocery stores and direct sales. "But the industry has requested that this stipulation be dropped. Wider access to non-prescription products will bring opportunities for manufacturers to sell to a wider consumer base and will allow retailers to expand their current product offerings, thereby improving the quality of healthcare in the country."

Euromonitor says the legislation is subject to approval, but would "undoubtedly boost sales of these products across the country, above the 3% Compound Annual Growth Rate predicted for the next five years. The sectors that are most likely to benefit are analgesics and digestive remedies, aimed at more common ailments."

Multiple-language printing

Despite the optimism, Euromonitor's report offered the following advice to makers of OTC products:

Manufacturers should also consider including visual information to allow safe use of these products by the less-educated population. The diversity of languages in India makes this market harder to penetrate and hence the need to provide product information in multiple languages to optimize sales for the manufacturers and safety for the end-user is paramount.
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