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medicine prices: Cost of 651 essential medicines down 7 pc from April as govt caps ceiling prices

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Cost of 651 essential medicines has come down by an average of 6.73 per cent from April with the government capping ceiling prices of a majority of the scheduled drugs, NPPA said on Monday. In a tweet, the national drug price regulator said the government has been able to fix the ceiling prices of 651 medicines so far out of the total 870 scheduled drugs listed under National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).

The health ministry had amended NLEM in September 2022 and it now has a total of 870 drugs.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) noted that with the capping of ceiling prices, the cost of 651 essential drugs on an average had already come down by 16.62 per cent.

“Due to this, the price of 651 essential drugs, which was to go up by 12.12 per cent, has actually come down by 6.73 per cent from April 1,” NPPA said.

Consumers will benefit from this decline in prices despite a 12.12 per cent annual hike in prices of drugs based on WPI, it added.

Annual hikes in prices of drugs listed in NLEM are based on WPI.

In a statement dated March 25, NPPA had stated that the annual change in Wholesale Price Index (WPI) was 12.12 per cent for 2022. NPPA fixes the ceiling price of essential medicines of Schedule I under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO) 2013.

The calculation for essential drugs is based on the simple average of all the medicines in a particular therapeutic segment with sales of more than 1 per cent.

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