The Private Sector Market for Diarrhea Treatment in India

Improving use of zinc and ORS for treatment of childhood diarrhea presents a significant opportunity to accelerate the reduction of child mortality in India in support of the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 4 and to expand the value of the ORS and zinc market. This assessment contributes to this end by examining the diarrhea treatment market in a way that offers strategic direction for the development of India’s essential medicines national strategy. 

Primary and secondary data collection was conducted between September 2011 and January 2012, which included semi‐structured interviews with key informants operating at different levels of the supply chain, a field visit to an international NGO’s project site in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and a desk review of existing qualitative and quantitative research, and population‐based data.

The study found the following barriers to ORS and zinc use:

  • Low awareness of zinc as the recommended treatment for diarrhea and poor perceptions of ORS as an effective diarrhea treatment
  • The profitability and affordability of ORS and zinc is not as competitive as alternative treaments
  • The market for ORS and zinc in India is largely controlled by five companies which do not have the resources needed to shift the market from antibiotics to ORS and zinc
  • Zinc is not considered an Over-The-Counter product so direct to consumer marketing and distribution is limited

Clinton Health Access Initiative


Clinton Health Access Initiative

April 2012
Resource Types
BCC for Diarrhea and Pneumonia
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