Reports of rise in medicine prices as “misleading & malicious”: Govt

New Delhi, Apr 3 (FN Bureau) The government on Wednesday termed the reports of a significant rise in the prices of medicines by up to 12 percent as false, misleading, and malicious and said there will be “almost” no change in the ceiling of prices for medicines based on inflation.“Some media reports have highlighted that medicine prices will witness a significant hike of up to 12 percent in April 2024. These reports further claim that more than 500 medicines will be affected by this increase in price. Such reports are false, misleading, and malicious,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a release.The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) under the Department of Pharmaceuticals annually revises the ceiling prices of scheduled medicines on the basis of the Wholesale Price Index (WPI).

The scheduled medicines included in Schedule-I of the DPCO for 2013 are essential medicines. During the calendar year 2023 over the corresponding period in 2022, the annual change in WPI with 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, in its meeting held on March 20, 2024, has approved the WPI increase of 0.00551 per cent for the scheduled medicines.The ceiling prices on 923 medicines are effective as of today.Based on the above mentioned WPI factor of (+) 0.00551 per cent, there will be no change in the prevailing ceiling prices for 782 medicines, and the existing ceiling prices will continue to prevail up to March 31, 2025. Fifty-Four (54) medicines with a ceiling price ranging from Rs. 90 to Rs. 261 will have a miniscule increase of Rs. 0.01(one paisa), the ministry said.As the permissible price increase is miniscule, the companies may or may not avail themselves of this increase. Thus, in the year FY 2024–25, there will be almost no change in the ceiling price of medicines based on WPI, the ministry stated.