Drug Price Hike: Don't Hypertense, New Regulations Aim to Stabilize Costs
Drug Price Hike: Don't Hypertense, New Regulations Aim to Stabilize Costs

New Delhi: The Centre has announced revised prices for several essential drugs used in the treatment of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, bacterial infections, allergies, and multivitamins. In an official order, the Department of Pharmaceuticals and the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) have fixed the retail prices for 54 drug formulations and eight special feature products.

The decision to increase the prices of these formulations was made during the authority’s 124th meeting. The revised prices aim to balance affordability and market sustainability while ensuring availability of essential drugs.

In a move to provide relief to diabetes patients, the prices of commonly prescribed drugs such as metformin, linagliptin, and sitagliptin have been set between Rs.15 to Rs.20 per tablet. Meanwhile, the prices of calcium, vitamins, and drugs for bacterial and fungal infections have seen a reduction.

Key highlights of the new price fixes include ciprofloxacin antibacterial injection at Rs.0.23 per milliliter (ml), combination tablets of telmisartan, chlorthalidone, and cilnidipine for hypertension at Rs.7.14 per tablet, and combination aspirin and atorvastatin capsules for high cholesterol at Rs.2.68 per capsule.

Additionally, the price of a 500 ml pack of glucose in 'euro head plastic bottles' is fixed at Rs.0.24 per ml, and calcium and vitamin D3 pills at Rs.7.82 per tablet.

These price adjustments come after the NPPA's announcement in March 2024, which factored in a 0.00551% increase in drug prices on the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) due to changes in wholesale inflation. In May 2024, the NPPA further reduced the ceiling rates for seven scheduled formulations and reduced retail prices for 41 important pharmaceuticals.

The NPPA's order also mandates that every retailer and dealer must display the price list and supplementary price list. It also specifies that if the retail price of any of the aforementioned formulations is not adhered to, the concerned manufacturer/marketing company will be liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with interest under the provisions of the DPCO, 2013 read with the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

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