The order was passed by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertiliser two days ago. Price of enoxaparin injection (40 mg), which is used for the prevention of blood clots, has increased from Rs 107 to Rs 112.86. Similarly, the price of erythropoieitin injection (used for treating patients with anaemia) has increased to Rs 2,888.5 (10000 IU/ml) from Rs 2,851.4 earlier.
While price of 100 mg tablets like atenolol (beta blocker) have increased to Rs 3.8 from Rs 3.66, that of fluconazole (used for the treatment of a variety of fungal and yeast infections) has increased to Rs 20.5 (150 mg capsule) from Rs 13.2 earlier. Cholecalciferol used for treating vitamin D deficiency has increased to Rs 26.93 (60000 IU) from Rs 17 earlier.
“We were expecting a 10% hike in the price of the medicines. While this might pinch the pocket of middle class and lower middle class families, one has to consider the overall inflation, too. Prices of ingredients, apart from logistics cost, have gone up significantly. Increased prices will also mean that the pharmacists will have to invest more to procure medicines,” said Rajiv Singhal, general secretary of the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD).
According to Sajal Ganguly, secretary of the Bengal Chemists and Druggists Association (BCDA), new prices will take some time to become effective. “It does not happen overnight. The new batches with revised prices will start coming in a month’s time,” he said.
Prices of some medicines, however, have slid marginally at retail point. Folic acid (5 mg tablet), which is capped at Rs 1.5 now, was being sold at the retail end for Rs 2.3 earlier. Similarly, fusidic acid (2%) cream price for 1 gm has been lowered by 9 paisa to Rs 10. Calcium carbonate (500 mg tablets) price has dropped to Rs 1.9 from its earlier retail price of Rs 3.6. Prices of some medicines like clonazepam (used for prevention and control of seizures), ciprofloxacin and diazepam remain more or less the same.
“We are yet to get new pricing from companies. So far there has not been any issue on the supply side,” said Somnath Ghosh of Metro Pharma.