The central government is set to increase the price of essential drugs and lifesaving medicines by 12.12 percent from April 1. According to reports, the price hike will be across all 384 essential drugs as listed in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).
Painkillers, antibiotics, anti-infectives and cardiac medicines are among the drugs whose prices are going to go up from April 1.
On March 27, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said that the prices have been hiked in line with surging wholesale price inflation and as per the provisions of DPCO (Drugs Price Control Order), 2013.
“Based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data provided by the Office of the Economic Advisor, Department of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the annual change in the WPI works out as 12.12% during the calendar year 2022 over the corresponding period in 2021,” the NPPA said in a statement.
The drug price regulator announces a change in wholesale price inflation as per the provisions of DPCO, 2013. Last year, the NPPA announced a change in the WPI by 10.7 percent. Reportedly, it is applicable only to allopathic drugs where DPCO ascertains the bulk drugs (and their formulations) to be kept under price control.
Moreover, the drug price regulator has also fixed retail prices of 25 drugs under DPCO, 2013 including Camylofin Dihydrochloride and Paracetamol tablets at ₹5.53, and Itraconazole capsules at ₹20.72. Reportedly, the companies will issue new prices through Form-V from the date of notification and inform the entire dealership to public.
The companies include Aristo Pharma, Wockhardt, Cipla, Glenmark Pharma, Zydus Healthcare, Lupin, Torrent, Mankind, Alembic, Sun Pharma and Abbott, among others.
It is noteworthy that this is the second year in a row that the increase in prices of scheduled drugs will be higher than non-scheduled drugs. According to media reports, the fixing of prices impact over 800 essential medicines and medical devices.
In 2021, the WPI increase was 0.53%. In 2020, it was 1.88%, while in 2019 and 2018 it was 4.26% and 3.43%, respectively. Prices of medicines used to treat fever, infections, heart diseases, high blood pressure, skin diseases and anaemia were also affected.