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    Rising competition and falling COVID cases puts diagnostic sector under pressure

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    Rising competition and falling COVID cases puts diagnostic sector under pressure

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    In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Om Manchanda, Managing Director at Dr Lal Pathlabs, said that the entire diagnostic industry is facing a decline due to falling COVID cases. Dr Lal Pathlabs is down 44 percent from its 52 week high with rising competition remaining the key talking point.

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    Dr. Lal Pathlabs is down 44 percent from its 52-week high with rising competition remaining the key talking point. Several brokerages have also sounded a word of caution with Antique saying that hyper-competition across categories will keep a check on revenue per patient and that margin is expected to correct to 24-25 percent. Nomura reflects the same, saying that the changing competitive landscape presents significant medium-term headwinds for the sector.
    Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Om Manchanda, Managing Director at Dr Lal Pathlabs said that the entire diagnostic industry is facing a decline due to falling COVID cases.
    “What is probably happening in FY23 is the entire industry is fighting the decline of COVID compared to last year. So a lot of sales comparison is happening because starting this financial year, COVID sales are badly down nearly about 80-90 percent. I think the first task for the industry is really to offset those losses with non-COVID,” he said.
    The company, however, is concentrating on medium to long-term growth in this industry and trying to take the short-term quarterly variations due to COVID decline in their stide.
    According to Antique, the post-pandemic growth rate accelerated resulting in the entry of new competition but now, with things returning to normalcy, the growth per patient realisation is going to remain under pressure for the considerable future. However, Manchanda is looking at this from a different perspective.
    “The comment about the rising competitive intensity and price war happening at some level, I do believe that this will definitely aid the growth of the market, especially in the area of wellness or screening. In my view, this competition really is not disrupting the cost structure it is mainly disrupting the price. So that means some of these price points may not really be sustainable,” said Manchanda.
    Watch the accompanying video for more
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