October 2, 2022

Bitter Pill: Paracetamols, analgesics, antibiotics to pinch pockets from April | Kolkata News

Kolkata: The announcement by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) of a price hike for 800 drugs from April 1 is expected to hit consumers in Kolkata soon. The prices of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, often used for fever or gastrointestinal disorders, are expected to rise sharply. Pharmacy retailers in the city said it would take 20 to 30 days for the new batch of drugs to arrive and for the new prices to take effect.
After the government allowed an increase of more than 10% for scheduled drugs, including painkillers, antibiotics and anti-infectives, prices are expected to rise from April 1. For scheduled drugs, whose prices are controlled, the increase is 10.7%. %. “For uncontrolled drugs, the increase can reach 20%. Over-the-counter drugs will fall under the 20% bracket,” said Sajal Ganguly, secretary of the Bengal Chemists and Druggists Association (BCDA).
Based on the wholesale price index data, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has set the wholesale price index at 10.7% in the calendar year 2021 over the corresponding period of 2020. As a result, the NPPA authorized a price increase for 800 medicines in the National Essential Medicines List. “For buyers, it will be a steady increase in the price of drugs ranging from paracetamol to amoxicillin,” Ganguly said.
Bengal, which consumes the most drugs in eastern India, is expected to be hard hit.
According to Rajendra Khandelwal of Dhanwantary Pharma, drugs for diabetes, blood pressure or heart disease are under price control. “But new drugs, especially some of the ones we’ve seen used during Covid, won’t fall into the price-controlled category,” he said. “Antiviral drugs like Remdisivir, used in the treatment of Covid, have been placed under NPPA. But there are other patent medicines in the unlisted category. The rise in prices of these drugs will depend on the price of the active pharmaceutical ingredients used in their manufacture,” said Rajiv Singhal, Secretary General of the Indian Organization of Chemists and Pharmacists (AIOCD).
“There is a chance that people will start buying in bulk to take advantage of the old price,” said Somnath Ghosh of Metro Pharma.