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New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic has made several healthcare and pharma players billionaires and the makers of Dolo-650 — the most prescribed medicine during the pandemic having sold more than 350 crore pills since the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020 — are raking in the moolah too.

As per the data from healthcare research firm IQVIA, India sold nearly 7.5 crore strips of Dolo — a paracetamol tablet manufactured by Bengaluru-based Micro Labs Ltd — before the Covid-19 outbreak in 2019.

Dolo, which is currently the most prescribed fever medicine for Covid-19 patients, registered a turnover of Rs 307 crore in 2021, according to the data.

In comparison, GSK Pharmaceuticals’ Calpol had a turnover of Rs 310 crore while Crocin logged double-digit sales at Rs 23.6 crore last year.

Somehow, the Dolo-650 brand has become synonymous with fever amid the pandemic.

According to Charu Goel Sachdeva, HOD and Consultant-Internal Medicine, Manipal Dwarka Hospital in New Delhi, Dolo-650 is basically a paracetamol drug.

“Because of its safety profile and its efficacy, Dolo-650 is preferable. From experience, we have seen that people respond well to this and fever starts subsiding fast. It is not only an antipyretic medicine but also has an anti-inflammatory effect as well, and you don’t have to worry about nephrotoxicity or having any kind of major interaction like with many other drugs,” Sachdeva told media.

Founded by G.C. Surana in 1973 in Chennai, Micro Labs Ltd manufactures Dolo with 650 milligram (mg) of paracetamol while most other brands sell their paracetamol brand with 500 mg salt — giving a general perception that Dolo-650 is more effective.

Data from IQVIA, a human data science and advanced analytics firm in healthcare, also shows that Dolo and Calpol are the key brands driving the paracetamol segment.

There are nearly 37 brands of paracetamol being sold in various regions in the country.

According to Ravi Shekhar Jha, Additional Director and Head, Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad, the safety profile of Dolo is good and it is not very costly either.
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