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April 3, 2024 5:28 PM IST

False, misleading, malicious: Health ministry dimisses reports of hike in medicine prices

health Ministry | DPCO | medicine price hike | medicine rates

The Union Health Ministry on Wednesday dismissed reports claiming an increase in medicine prices of up to 12% starting from April 2024, calling them false, misleading, and malicious.

Under the provisions of the Drug Price Control Orders (DPCO) 2013, medicines are categorised as scheduled and non-scheduled formulations. Scheduled formulations, listed in Schedule I of the DPCO 2013, are considered essential, while non-scheduled formulations are not specified in this schedule.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, annually revises the ceiling prices of scheduled medicines based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI).

During the calendar year 2023, over the corresponding period in 2022, the annual change in WPI with the base year 2011-12 was (+) 0.00551 per cent as per data published by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). Accordingly, the Authority approved the WPI increase @ (+) 0.00551 per cent for the scheduled medicines in its meeting held in March this year.

The current ceiling prices are in effect for 923 medicines. Fifty-four medicines with ceiling prices ranging from Rs 90 to Rs 261 will see a minimal increase of Rs. 0.01 (one paisa). Given the negligible nature of this price increase, companies may choose not to implement it. Therefore, there will be almost no change in the ceiling price of medicines based on WPI for the fiscal year 2024-25.

(Inputs from ANI)

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Last updated on: 15th April 2024