Drug prices: Pharmaceutical companies ask government to increase drug prices

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Pressure group representing more than 1,000 Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers urged government to allow drugmakers to increase prices of all unscheduled drugs by 20% as pharmaceutical industry fights rising costs inputs. Currently, unregulated drugs are allowed at a maximum annual price increase of 10%.

In a statement to Minister of Health Mansukh Mandaviya, Niti Aayog, Secretary of the Department of Pharmaceuticals and Chairman of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), the Indian Association of Drug Manufacturers (IDMA) highlighted the “series situation” which has been exacerbated by escalating input costs.

IDMA said the increase in input costs has affected all cost heads, including major starting materials, packaging materials and transportation costs.

He asked for “only immediate” relief to overcome the sudden surge by invoking special power under paragraph 19 of the Drug Price Control Ordinance (DPCO). Citing extraordinary circumstances, he urged companies to be “allowed to increase the prices of unscheduled formulations by an additional 10% over the 10% allowed for unscheduled formulations.”

He said the additional 10% increase could be reversed once the surge in input costs subsides.

The lobby group also demanded that the prices of all scheduled formulations be increased by 10% with immediate effect. Scheduled drugs are those whose prices are controlled and at low cost.

“Please allow scheduled formulations with retail prices below the cap price to be raised to the new proposed cap price which includes the 10% increase in the wholesale price index (WPI). Many manufacturers of programmed formulations suffer from this problem. It is said in the representation.

ET saw a copy of the performance.

According to IDMA, the prices of some key APIs rose 15% to 130%, as the price of paracetamol jumped 130%. Likewise, the prices of excipients have increased between 18% and 262%. The prices of glycerin and propylene glycol, solvents used in all liquid preparations, including syrups, oral drops and sterile preparations, have skyrocketed by 263% and 83%, respectively.

IDMA said prices of middlemen saw an increase of between 11% and 175% with Pencillin G recording a 175% jump.

IDMA said the price increase could lead to stockouts and called for urgent government intervention.

“We are concerned that the strong pressure on operating margins could lead to stockouts and shortages even for essential formulations in commerce, hospitals and government institutional supplies,” he said.

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