According to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), the wholesale price index (WPI) is revising the prices of 800 types of medicines by 10.7 percent. It said, the increased prices would take effect from April 1. Some of the drugs that might face a price hike are Paracetamol, Phenobarbitone, Phenytoin Sodium, Azithromycin, Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride and Metronidazole, medications for skin diseases, heart problems, corona treatment, anaemia, blood pressure and more.
According to industry experts, API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) prices have risen by 15 per cent to 130 per cent in the last two years. Prices of syrups, oral drops, glycerin used in sterile preparations and propylene glycol have risen sharply. Reliance on foreign sources for raw materials used in the manufacture of medicines is also cited as a reason for the rise in prices.
“NPPA has fixed ceiling prices of 886 scheduled formulations and four scheduled medical devices and fixed retail prices of 1,817 new drugs,” the government said in the Parliament this week.
The order stated, “Based on the Wholesale 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 10.7 percent during the calendar year 2021 over the corresponding period in 2020.”
The NPPA fixes the ceiling price of scheduled medicines as per provisions of the DPCO. Scheduled drugs are procured by the government for various health programmes and are mostly provided in government hospitals free of cost.