New Delhi: Brace up for a 10 percent hike in essential medicines from next month.
Media reports said the hike is expected as the government is set to give a nod to drug companies to increase prices of essential medicines including painkillers, anti-infective, and antibiotics.
It is expected that the medicines will become costlier by 10 percent as the change in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) in 2021 were 10.8 percent.
Earlier, the hike in prices of essential medicines used to be in the range of 1-2 percent. In 2019, the prices were hiked by around 2 percent whereas, in 2020, the hike was 0.5 percent.
After the outbreak of pandemic, the prices of API surged enormously. An increase in freight rates, transportation costs, etc., also adds to the input cost.
As most of the pharma ingredients are imported from China, supply was disrupted during the pandemic which had led to a spike in input cost during the pandemic.
NPPA regulates the cost of medicines in India
The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) which is a government regulatory agency controls the prices of medicines in India.
It comes under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals, and Fertilizers.
The responsibility of the authority is to regulate the prices of medicines and ensure their availability and accessibility at affordable prices.