Prices of life-saving drugs revised, ire over stent price hike
Malappuram: Prices of around 26 medicines have been revised which had been remaining stagnant for a long period of time. Prices of most of these drugs have been cut and that is a big relief to the public.
However, there have been voices of discontent over a slight upward revision in the prices of stent, which is used in heart surgeries.
Twenty drugs in this group are new entrants to the list and prices of most of the brands are set to fall. This includes medicines for Hepatitis B, AIDS, Cancer, Infection and Tuberculosis.
The price of Arithromycin, an antibiotic used in the treatment against many infections, will fall to Rs 9.28 per 20 mg from Rs 11.02. Price of Arithromycin 500 mg will fall to Rs 18.85 from Rs 22.04.
Price of Asparaginase, which is used in the treatment of leukemia, will come down to Rs 980.41 from Rs 1271.76. The last time the prices of this drug was revised was in 2015.
Meanwhile, the government said that the 2 per cent increase in the prices of cardiac stent is due to increase in wholesale price. But there have been arguments that the move was made under pressure from the manufacturers.
It was in February 13 that the government capped the prices of cardiac stent. The price of bare-metal stent was cut down to Rs 7,260 from as high as Rs 40,000. The drug-eluting stents used to cost around Rs 1.25 lakh but was reduced to Rs 29,600 by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
Now, the prices of these stents have been slightly revised up to Rs 7,400 and Rs 30,180 respectively.
At the beginning of every financial year, the NPPA used to revise the prices of life-saving drugs based on the wholesale price. This year, the wholesale price of pharmaceuticals recorded a 2 per cent increase and based on this, the NPPA had recommended a revision of all medicines and drugs.