Prices of raw materials used in manufacturing of hand sanitizers have increased by 200-300 per cent in the wake of huge demand for the hand antiseptics since the coronavirus outbreak in India.
Earlier, the government on March 13, 2020 notified masks and hand sanitizers as essential commodities till June 30 in the wake of huge shortage of the products. As per the Essential Commodities (EC) Act, there will be crackdown on those selling the masks and hand sanitizers above maximum retail price.
One of the main disinfectants found in hand sanitizers is the isopropyl alcohol (IPA). The prices of IPA have jumped from Rs. 110 a kg to Rs. 250 per kg in the last three days. Besides this, the prices of plastic bottle, cap, spray pump have increased almost by 200-300 per cent in the wake of huge scarcity.
The manufacturers of raw materials are not able to meet the high demand due to capacity constraint. The consumers are struggling to procure sanitizers in the face of panic buying.
“Raw materials of sanitizers should be available at reasonable price. There should be curtailment of prices from sanitizer manufacturers to raw material providers so that hand sanitizers are available at reasonable cost.” said Dr Rajesh Gupta, president of Himachal Drug Manufacturers Association.
“We have already appealed to hand sanitizer manufacturers to sell the product in the pandemic situation on reasonable profit instead of grabbing the situation”, he further added.
More than 200 new manufacturers have received product license to manufacture hand sanitizers after the drugs controller general of India has taken steps to expedite licensing of manufacturing of hand antiseptic. But they have not yet started manufacturing the product due to scarcity of raw materials.