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NPPA hikes prices of 800 essential drugs

In a major development, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has announced a hike in prices of around 800 essential drugs from 1 April. The rise in drug prices works out at around 10.76% based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data.

The drugs which are included in the National Essential List of Medicine (NELM) such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, ear-nose and throat medicines, antiseptics, painkillers, gastrointestinal medicines and antifungal medicines among others will see a sharp increase in prices.

“Based on the Whole Sale Price Index (WPI) data provided by the office of the economic advisor, department of promotion of industry and internal trade, ministry of commerce and industry, the annual change in the WPI works out as 10.76607% during the calendar year 2021 over the corresponding year 2020,” according to an NPPA office memorandum reviewed by Mint.

Queries emailed to NPPA weren’t answered till the time of publishing this story.

The office memorandum further stated, “This is brought to the notice of all concerned for further action as per the provisions of Drugs Price Control Order, 2013.”

The clause 16 of Drugs Price Control Order 2013, allows NPPA to revise the ceiling price of scheduled formulations as per the annual wholesale price index (WPI) for the preceding calendar year on or before 1 April of every year and notify the same on the first day of April every year.

The pharmaceutical industry welcomed the government’s decision stating that this 10% hike in scheduled drugs is after many years.

“This has been done for schedule drugs and these are already under the control of the government. Of course, there will be a little burden on the consumer, but we have to understand that there are so many manufacturers and varieties of formulations. So, it is not necessary that everybody will increase the prices of medicines by 10% at the same time nobody will leave an opportunity like this,” said Daara B. Patel, secretary-general, Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association. LiveMint

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