Price of essential drugs, including painkillers, to go up by 12% from April 1

Representative Image | Photo: AFP

New Delhi: In a first in the country, 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).

As per reports, the price of 384 molecules, which correspond to around 900 formulations across 27 therapies, are expected to go up. In case of non-scheduled drugs, which are not part of essential medicines, there would be an annual increase of 10 per cent.

As notified by the central government, the price hike was allowed since the annual change in the wholesale price index (WPI) was 12.12 per cent in 2022. The price of essential drugs are revised every year on the basis of the index.

Last year, the NPPA announced an annual change of 10.76 per cent in the WPI. However, as the central government intervened to reduce the impact of the hike, the prices of around 500 drugs were reduced by the manufacturers.

As per reports, the manufacturers had informed the government that the rise in cost of raw materials have adversely impacted the industry. Following which, the Centre granted approval for the price hike.

Setback for patients

The price hike has come in as a major setback for patients, including those suffering from lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and those suffering from obesity, especially for those with multiple ailments.

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