Prices of nearly 800 essential medicines, including paracetamol, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, and insulin, are likely to get costlier this month, according to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), according to News 18.
The NPPA is a government regulatory agency that controls the prices of pharmaceutical drugs in India.
The agency said in a notice, “Based on the WPI (Wholesale Price Index) data provided by the office of the Economic Advisor, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the annual change in WPI works out as 10.76607% during the calendar year 2021 over the corresponding period in 2020.”
The prices of over 800 medicines on the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), which are used to treat fever, infections, skin diseases, hypertension, diabetes, anemia, and heart diseases, are expected to increase by more than 10%.
The NPPA said, “This is brought to the notice of all concerned for further action as per the provisions of Drugs (Price Control) Order, 2013.”
The medicines and medical devices, which are expected to get costlier, include paracetamol, azithromycin, oral rehydration salts, glucose injections, and contraceptives such as copper IUDs and condoms. They also include insulin injections and multivitamin tablets.
In 2021, the NPPA had announced an increase of 0.53% in WPI, compared to 1.88% in 2020.
In October 2021, the agency had fixed the ceiling prices for 12 generic drugs used for the treatment of diabetes. The generic medicines for diabetes include glimepiride tablets, glucose injections, and intermediate-acting insulin solutions.
The NPPA tweeted at the time, “To make it possible for every Indian to afford medical treatment against diseases like diabetes, NPPA has initiated a successful step by fixing the ceiling prices of 12 anti-diabetic generic medicines.”
The ceiling price of the common diabetes medicine metformin 500 mg was fixed at Rs. 1.51 ($0.02) per pill, 750 mg was at Rs. 3.05 ($0.04) per tablet, and 1,000 mg at Rs. 3.61 ($0.048) per tablet. The price control also covered glimepiride 1 mg and 2 mg, insulin (soluble) injection 40IU/ml, and glucose injection 25%.