A comparison to the growth in the pharmaceutical business, we are basically flat here, while overseas in India the market continues on a steady growth pattern.  Also, in the US it is becoming much more difficult for sales and marketing representatives to get appointments to see physicians, they are busy like everyone else and have more information and constraints piling up every day, so the time they have to share is limited.  Only 16% of their time is spent directed to medical care today according to recent reports, and the rest is spent on administrative tasks and waiting for imageinformation, labs, etc.  BD

* 2008 U.S. drug sales up 1.3 pct

* Sales growth reflects continuing slowdown

* Cheaper generics, weak economy, hurt branded drugs (Adds quotes from IMS Health analyst, updates shares)

NEW YORK, March 19 (Reuters) - Sales of prescription drugs in the United States rose an anemic 1.3 percent in 2008 to $291 billion in a continuing slowdown, as patients opted for cheaper generic versions or chose to go without treatment due to the economic downturn.

UPDATE 2-U.S. drug sales show anemic growth in '08 | Markets | Markets News | Reuters

NEW DELHI: India’s drug retail industry continued its healthy growth recording 13.3% higher sales in February over the same month last year. Domestic pharma firm Cipla continues to hold the top position in sales, as per data compiled by research firm ORG IMS.
Growth in February marks the fourth straight month of higher drug sales in the country after the drug retail market contracted for the first time in many years by 1.2% in October 2008. This had surprised industry analysts as demand for medicines is need-based and considered immune to economic slowdown which has hit most sectors.



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