Orders for active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for cough suppressants and expectorants have surged, apparently boosted by a rising number of respiratory diseases amid increased fine dust, industry officials said.
One of the suppliers of APIs for antitussives and expectorants said its production of APIs rapidly grew this year, compared to a year earlier.
Considering that the nation suffered frequent strikes of fine dust last year pushed up prescriptions of antitussives and expectorants, the market continued to expand this year.
“We used to produce about 30 tons of an API, only identified by ‘A,’ for antitussives and expectorants per year. But last year, it slightly went up to 35 tons. This year, we’re expecting 50 tons,” an official at the API manufacturer said. “The increase of APIs by 15 tons is a significant quantity growth.”
The API “A” was about 300 mg per tablet. Fifteen tons of API equals 50,000 pills.
The official added that the API “A” is often prescribed for coughs. “The demand seemed to have risen recently due to air pollutions. We’re considering whether to register ‘A’ in Europe,” he said.
Ahngook Pharm’s Synatura Syrup is leading the local market of antitussives and expectorants. Synatura’s outpatient prescriptions amounted to 22.5 billion won ($19.8 million) in the first nine months.
Prescription sales of antitussives containing the API “A” reached 9 billion won between January and September.