Germany’s Bayer faces shortage of contraceptive pill Yasmin in India, ET HealthWorld

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Bengaluru: German drugmaker Bayer said it was facing supply issues with its popular oral-contraceptive pill Yasmin in India, without giving a reason, and that supply would resume in the “next few days”.

About 40 Indian pharmacies and drug distributors told that Yasmin, the number 2 combination oral-contraceptive pill in the country, has been in short supply since March.

Yasmin, made from a combination of female hormones ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone, is manufactured locally by Bayer Zydus Pharma, a joint venture between Bayer’s Singapore unit and India’s Zydus Lifesciences.

Unit sales of Yasmin, also prescribed to treat irregular periods tied to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), have slid 48 per cent from January to April, according to market research firm Pharmarack AWACS.

“We faced temporary supply issues for Yasmin in India and have also intimated this to healthcare practitioners,” a Bayer spokesperson said by email.

They did not say what caused the shortage but said the pill would be available in the “next few days”, without elaborating.

The drugstore operators mentioned that they were unaware of the reason for the shortage, nor when the pill would be available next. No shortages have been reported in other countries so far.

In March, Bayer said it would shift the focus of its drug research away from women’s health, one of its traditional pillars, to focus on neurology, rare diseases and immunology.

In India, Yasmin competes with drugs including Sun Pharma’s market-leading Dronis as well as Cipla’s Crisanta and Lupin’s Yamini.

Yasmin accounted for 26 per cen of the market for combination oral contraceptives, which was worth 1 billion rupees ($12.11 million) as of April 2023, per Pharmarack AWACS. The overall oral contraceptive market is pegged at 5.07 billion rupees.

The Drugs Controller General of India, Sun Pharma, Lupin and Cipla did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment. ($1 = 82.5941 Indian rupees)

  • Published On Jun 7, 2023 at 01:35 PM IST

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