Prices Of 800 Essential Medicines Will Increase By Upto 10% Starting This Date
Around 800 essential medicines will become costlier from April since the government has allowed a hike of over 10% for the scheduled drugs.
Over 10% Hike Approved
Every year, the prices of these medicines rise by 2-3% and seldom cross 4%, said industry insiders.
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), the country’s drug pricing authority, announced a 10.7% change in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for the calendar year 2021 over the same period in 2020.
This essentially means a price increase by 10.7% beginning April 1.
Covid Drugs Also Impacted
Annual hikes in the prices of drugs listed in the NELM, also called essential drugs, is based on the WPI.
These listed drugs include those used to treat common conditions such as fever, infection, heart disease, hypertension, skin diseases and anaemia, among others.
It includes paracetamol and antibiotics such as azithromycin, used to treat bacterial infections, anti-anaemia prescriptions such as folic acid, vitamins and minerals.
Some of the drugs used to treat moderate to severe Covid illness along with steroids like prednisolone are also affected by the hike.
Pharma Body Also Wants Hike
NPPA officials said that since WPI is used as the base to revise prices of scheduled drugs, the sharp rise will be reflected in the new prices that will be effective from April 1, 2022.
The Indian Drug Manufacturers Association also demanded that drug makers be allowed to hike prices of all non-scheduled drugs by 20%, complaining about rising input costs.
The focus here is on non-scheduled drugs because while scheduled drugs come under price controls, those in the non-scheduled category are allowed a maximum annual price increase of 10%.
The government is yet to heed the demand.
Drugs By Name
Consumers will have to start shelling out more for common use drugs like:
- Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride
- Phenytoin Sodium
Drugs By Ailment
These are drugs which cure:
- Skin diseases
- Heart diseases
- High blood pressure
Drugs By Purpose/Category
The categories the medicines belong to are: