India’s small towns are growing as far as demand for medicines goes, thanks to post-pandemic health awareness, the proliferation of pharmacists, the coverage of government health schemes like Ayushman Bharat, and pharmaceutical (pharma) companies warming up to this segment.
Every year, about 450,000 pharmacists graduate. Of them, 40,000–45,000 have their pharmacies, says Rajiv Singhal, general-secretary, All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists — an umbrella organisation representing 1.2 million pharmacists in the country.
“Pharmacists are going to smaller towns and servicing more pincodes in the hinterland. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, there isn’t any village or town with a population of at least 1,000–2,000 inhabitants that does not have a pharmacy,” says Singhal.