Big Pharma sees bigger possibilities in Nutra sector


The FY20-21 saw a large number of big and small pharma players launching innovative nutrition-based products to help build immunity and overall well-being, on par with the food and supplement giants

Over the years, one of the biggest shifts in the nutrition and dietary supplement industry has been the arrival of pharmaceutical companies. Moreover, amid the COVID-19 pandemic scenario, people’s focus is shifting to a positive approach for the prevention of diseases, and are adopting multi-vitamins, probiotics, dairy products and ketogenic diets to stay healthy and motivated.

As a result, pharma giants are now focusing on the nutra space including nutraceuticals, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, dietary supplements, nutritionals etc. to generate more revenue and in order to meet rising demands at a global level. For instance, companies like Sanofi, Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) owe sizable portions of their sales to supplements, and the latter two companies are ranked in the top five companies in 2020 vitamins and dietary supplement sales, according to Euromonitor. 

Rising consumer health education along with recent advancements in nutrition, functional foods and medical foods is increasingly driving the growth of Indian pharmaceutical firms in this space. The FY20-21 saw a large number of big and small pharma players launching innovative nutrition-based products to help build immunity and overall well-being, on par with the food and supplement giants.

“The pharma industry will no longer be able to focus only on illness while providing medication but will have to keep a balance of how quickly a patient’s health is restored. Leading pharma players, including GlaxoSmithKline, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer, are focusing on nutritional supplements, functional foods, and medical nutrition. At present, a growing trend for the pharmaceutical industry is to enter the food nutrition and probiotics market by using strains having specific health benefits which have been proven in human research trials”, points out Karan Chechi, Director, TechSci Research, Noida.


Strengthening nutra-innovations

One of the leading pharma players in India, Ahmedabad-based Intas Pharmaceuticals has developed a novel, patented research formulation of Thymoquinone that fortifies immunity and ensures higher success in fighting infection. Branded as Thymotas, it has been tested clinically as a significant add-on to the standard COVID-19 treatment. Thymotas, the active biological component of black cumin, has been developed as a stable, standardised and ready-to-use tablet by Intas for the first time in the world.

Reinstating the importance of immunity boosting for a healthy living, Cipla Health, the consumer healthcare subsidiary of Mumbai-based pharmaceutical firm Cipla, has recently launched Maxirich Tulsi Drops. This product has been specially curated with remedial ingredients best known to fight pathogens. 

“Maxirich, our flagship multivitamin brand, has now introduced Tulsi Drops which is a natural immunity booster that effectively supports respiratory and digestive health, gives relief from cough and cold and helps in stress management. Tulsi is a powerful antioxidant with anti-viral and anti-microbial properties useful in the treatment of cold, cough, sore throat, heart diseases, eye diseases, mouth infections, and stomach ailments”, says Shivam Puri, Chief Executive Officer, Cipla Health, Mumbai.

Ahmedabad-based Cadila Pharmaceuticals is following suit by launching an immunity booster syrup under the brand name Cadimmune. Processed with advanced modern extraction method to maintain the aromatic principles, Cadimmune majorly contains, natural food ingredients such as nut grass, khus, sandal wood, ginger, etc.

Lincoln Pharmaceuticals, also based in Ahmedabad is another player that is exploring innovation in the nutrition space. The company has recently developed chewable vitamin C + zinc tablet for the Indian market.

“The market size for vitamin C and zinc tablets is estimated at around Rs 150 crore in India and it is growing at 15 per cent per annum. Our tablet is an evidence-based bio-active for natural immunity in the combination of zinc that boosts antiviral activity and protection against COVID-19, in particular. As it is in the form of a chewable tablet, geriatric and pediatric patients and traveling patients who may not have ready access to water are in most need of easy-to-swallow forms like chewable tablets with a pleasant flavour”, says Mahendra Patel, Managing Director, Lincoln Pharmaceuticals, Ahmedabad.

Adding on, Ahmedabad based Zydus Cadila has developed an immuno-booster comprising of a unique combination of herbs, multi-minerals and multi-vitamins. A one-of-its-kind product in India, it is rich in vitamin C, D, E and zinc. It also helps in the maintenance of reproductive health and increases vitality.

With increased focus on preventive healthcare, New Delhi-based Mankind Pharma has recently incorporated its multivitamin tablet ‘Health OK’ in to the food supplement category. ‘Health OK’ has unique formulations of natural ginseng and taurine for maintaining energy, 20 multivitamins and minerals for improving overall health and Vitamin C, D and zinc, for building Immunity.


To read the complete story, grab our e-magazine for June….


Read Previous

Fitza launches first-ever intelligent virtual nutrition coach

Read Next

Volpak upgrades SC+ machine for food packaging

Leave a Reply