New Delhi: The prices of several medicines to increase from April as Government allows drug manufacturers to increase the price accordingly to the annual wholesale price index(WPI). The prices of several medicines such as painkillers, antiinfectives, cardiac and antibiotics would see a hike in their price from April.
The annual change in WPI as informed by the government works out to 0.5% for 2020, the drug prices regulator National Pharmaceutical pricing authority stated on Friday. The prices of the scheduled drugs are to increase every year by the drug regulator in line according to the WPI. According to sources, there has been a 15-20% surge in manufacturing costs this year and thus the pharmaceutical companies seek to have a 20% increase accordingly.
An industry expert said, “We feel the percentage allowed for increase is too small. During pandemic, the industry was impacted by a rise in the prices of raw materials, sea freight and increase in packaging material among other rising costs. We plan to ask for an increase as an one off increase from the Government soon.”
Reports stated that these medicines are imported from China and while for some pharmaceutical ingredients, the country is 80-90% dependent on China. The pandemic led to disruption of supplies resulting in a higher price of the importers meanwhile China also increased the prices of the key inputs by 10-20% last year.