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Essential Medicine Prices to Go Up by 12% from April 1

The price of essential medicines, including painkillers, anti-infectives, antibiotics and cardiac drugs, are set to go up by 12 per cent from April 1. A decision in this regard was taken by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).

Amid the increase of prices of almost all essential things, the prices of medicines are set to hike by 12 percent from April 1.According to reports, the prices of 384 essential drugs including painkillers, anti-infection drugs, cardiac drugs, antibiotics and over 1,000 formulations are set to witness a hike due to a sharp rise in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI).A senior Health Ministry official said that the hike was to ensure that there would be no shortage of medicines in the market.

He said that manufacturers and consumers get mutually benefitted.
“Manufacturers will not sell at a loss and we must ensure a steady supply of essential medicines in the country. Additionally, the prices are allowed to rise in a controlled manner,” he said to The Hindu.

Meanwhile, co-convener of the All India Drug Action Network, Malini Aisola was quoted by The Hindu, “The increase is the highest seen since the DPCO 2013 came into force and this is the second year in a row that the WPI is higher than the annual permitted price hike for non-scheduled formulations (10%). Because such a drastic hike will distort the price control in place on essential medicines, the government should intervene in the interest of maintaining the affordability of these drugs. Such high back-to-back price increases are undermining the purpose of price fixation of essential medicines.”It may be mentioned that last year, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) announced a 10.7 percent change in WPI.Every year, the authority announces a change in WPI under the Drugs (Price Control) Order, 2013.

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