Mumbai, February 2016: Come the new financial year in April, prices of all essential drugs are likely to be reduced by around 3%. This downward revision is expected to apply to 750-odd essential formulations, including drugs for treating diabetes and cardiac problems, as well as painkillers and antibiotics.

The move, the first on such a scale since the national Pharmaceutical Policy was implemented in 2013, is being taken in the light of the annual wholesale price index going into -2.75% in the January-December period.
Once implemented, there will be substantial savings in treatment costs.

Some pharmaceutical companies are, however, trying to scuttle the move. An industry body is in talks with the Government, asking it to drop the move to lower prices.

Not all companies and industry bodies are opposed to the move. “The price drop in medicines will be in the interest of patients, and we are in favour (of it),” said Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association secretary general Daara Patel.

It may be recalled that when the current financial year began, drug companies had increased the prices of essential medicines by nearly 4%, in line with the increase in the wholesale price index.


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