Central Government shall ensure that there won’t be any atrocious price hike of the scheduled drugs and medical devices:JohnBrittas MP

Atrocious Price Hike of Scheduled Drugs and Medical Devices

John Brittas, MP from CPI (M) Kerala raised the issue of rising prices, pointing out that there is an 11 percent hike on essential items. Brittas said that this was gross insensitivity towards the people, stating that price rises should have been avoided during a health crisis. He said the price of all essential drugs has gone up. Priyanka Chaturvedi, Shiv Sena MP, also continued the issue by talking about the rise of cost of living and the rise of cost of drugs.

John Brittas said that it is widely reported that the National Pharmaceutical PricingAuthority mulls to raise the prices of essential drugs and medical devices under NationalList of Essential Medicines (NLEM) by more than 10% on the basis of annual change inWholesale Price index (WPI). Public denounce this move especially against the backdropof the ongoing fight against Covid-19 pandemic. Stakeholders lambasted the move bypointing out that the annual increase in the prices of scheduled medicines were generallyby 2-3% and seldom exceeded 4% during previous years. Increase of drugs prices shallnot be made in direct proportion to Wholesale Price index as WPI calculation isdependent on price rise in a basket of goods, most of which are not directly linked withpharmaceutical industry. There had been instances in the past when WPI had risensharply but was rationalised for calculating drug prices.

Brittas said that when WPI inflationwas 4% in the past, prices of scheduled drugs were not allowed to rise by as much.NLEM list includes drugs to treat common illnesses like fever, infections, heartdiseases,hyper tension, anaemia, etc. Some drugs are being used for treating covid-19patients also.

He pointed out that the increase of price of scheduled drugs by more than 10% will bedeplorable also in the light of the fact that even the annual price increase of non-scheduled drugs cannot exceed 10% of the MRP. Hence government shall ensure that there won’t be any atrocious price hike of the scheduled drugs and medical devices.


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