NPPA to reduce prices of essential drugs, Rs 17,984 drop for cancer medicine

MK Rajashekaran

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Representative image | Photo: AFP

Thrissur: National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) intervened to cushion the price hike of essential medicines in March 2022. The cost of 112 essential drugs will be reduced by this. At least Rs 17,984 will drop in the price of Transtuzumab, used for the treatment of cancer.

As many as 16 more items were included in the list of drugs for which the cost had to be controlled. However, allegations were also raised that the NPPA has now fixed a rate higher than the current market price for 8 drugs on the list. For instance, the price of Tenecteplase, used to treat blood clotting, has been fixed at Rs 40,000 while the same medicine is available for nearly Rs 30,000 online.

In March 2022, NPPA had announced a hike of 10.76 per cent for several essential drugs in the Wholesale Price Index, marking the highest price hike allowed for scheduled drugs. NPPA has decided to revise the price in view of the protests raised against the sudden rise of essential drugs.

The price of Zoledronic acid used to treat Paget’s disease of the bones has dropped from Rs 4664.74 to Rs 2133.32. The costs of other essential drugs such as Azithromycin (antibiotic against bacterial infection), Vancomycin (treating colitis), Amoxicillin-Clavulanic acid (to treat certain bacterial infection), Ibuprofen (pain killer), and Aciclovir (for chickenpox and other infections) were also dropped.

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