Starting in April, essential medicines like painkillers, antibiotics, heart medications, cardiac drugs, and anti-infectives are expected to cost more. This will be a big blow to consumers who are already feeling the effects of inflation.
The annual Wholesale Price Index (WPI) fluctuation will coincide with the government’s decision to grant pharmaceutical companies an increase. The yearly change in WPI, as advised by the public authority, works out to 12.12% during 2022, the medication costs controller Public Drug Estimating Authority (NPPA) said on Monday.
Over 12% increase is anticipated for the prices of 384 molecules, which represent approximately 900 formulations across 27 therapies. This is the second consecutive year that the increase exceeds what is permitted for drugs that are not listed on the schedule. The NPPA sets prices for the 384 molecules on the national list of essential medicines, which are also known as scheduled drugs.
The remaining, non-scheduled drugs that are not subject to price control, are permitted an annual increase of 10%. The subsequent increase in drugs for the year 2021 was more than 10% higher than the change in WPI.
Historically, the annual change in WPI has only marginally impacted prices, fluctuating between 1% and 2% over the past few years. According to sources, the NPPA will announce the scheduled formulations’ ceiling prices in the coming days.
The industry, which has been struggling with a rise in manufacturing costs due to a variety of factors, will welcome the new development. The cost of raw materials (active pharmaceutical ingredients), freight, plastics, and packaging materials, among other things, increased during the pandemic.
“Once the new prices are made public, the industry will feel better. Due to imported raw materials and drug excipients, it has been experiencing an increase in costs. Additionally, “it will be a relief for those drugs that were added to the scheduled drugs’ list,” stated a specialist in the field. (Source TOI)
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