Prices of specialised medicines for diabetes, BP, arthritis, cancer have risen the most in the last 12 months, reveals LocalCircles survey
- From April 1, 2023, the price of a basket of essential medicines could rise significantly due to the annual change in the wholesale price index in 2022 to 12.12%.
- This is the highest-ever hike allowed by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
- As per a survey by LocalCircles, 58% of respondents observed a price hike in the last 12 months in regularly-purchased medicines.
AdvertisementConsumers have been reeling from the rise in medicine prices in the last 12 months, reveals a survey by community social media platform LocalCircles, even as prices of a basket of essential medicines are set to rise from April 1.
The government is set to allow drug manufacturers to increase the ceiling prices of around 900 scheduled drugs (medicines), in line with the change in the annual Wholesale Price Index (WPI). As per the drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), the annual change in WPI in 2022 is 12.12% and thus the drug prices too could see a similar hike. Reports state that this is the highest-ever hike allowed.
As per the LocalCircles survey, 58% of respondents observed a price hike in the last 12 months in regularly-purchased medicines. For most of the respondents, the price increase has been significant i.e. over 20%. In fact, 12% of respondents observed a price rise of over 50% for most of the medicines purchased.
Specialised medicines turn more expensive
The survey revealed that while consumers have observed a price hike for all medicines, the majority of the respondents indicated that prices of specialised medicines for diabetes, blood pressure (BP), arthritis, cancer, etc., have risen the most in the last year.
On an aggregate basis, 89% of respondents experienced a significant price increase in the specialised medicines category while 57% experienced a significant price increase in the general medicine category as well i.e. medicines for fever, cough, headache, eye drops, vitamins, etc.
Moreover, it’s not just allopathic medicines which became costlier – 2% of respondents pointed to price increases in Ayurveda and Homoeopathic medicines as well, revealed the survey.
Customers want a cap on trade margins
The survey respondents raised concerns over the huge gap between the medicine selling price and the MRP (maximum retail price) and 55% of respondents asked for a 50% cap on trade margins while 21% asked for a 100% cap on trade margins.
“People feel that at least with a cap on trade margin the MRPs will become more realistic and many consumers who currently may be subject to overcharging may end up paying a more reasonable price for the medicines,” stated LocalCircles.
AdvertisementAs per the survey, 56% of respondents indicated that the MRP of medicines regularly taken by them or their family members has risen in the last 12 months. 8% of the respondents observed a hike of 50% or more in MRP.
LocalCircles survey received over 34,000 responses from consumers located in 323 districts of India. 46% of the respondents were from Tier 1 cities, 30% were from Tier 2 and 24% were from Tier 3 and 4 districts.
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