Your medical bill is set to come down as prices of commonly used antibiotics, anti-infectives, analgesics, vitamin supplements and anti-fungal drugs have been reduced by around 3%. This is in sharp contrast to last year, when prices went up by 4%.
In the annual price revision exercise by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), the prices of over 100 medicines have been aligned to the change in wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation.
Average WPI inflation has been -2.6% in 2015-16 (till February) against 2% in 2014-15.
“The manufacturer has to sell as per revised price from April 1, 2016 and inform NPPA by April 15 of compliance,” a senior NPPA official said. “Chemists have to sell drugs at revised maximum retail price (MRP). Wherever the selling price is lower than the printed MRP, the loss suffered by the chemist will be reimbursed by the supplier through credit notes.”
Apart from common medicines, the regulator has also revised prices of drugs used to treat life-threatening diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis.
According to pharmaceutical research firm AIOCD AWACS, the average market size of these 100 formulations is around Rs 4,839 crore, and companies are likely to take a hit of around Rs 647 crore due to the fall in prices. “Drugs used for the treatment of cardiac diseases will witness the highest loss at Rs 250 crore followed by anti-infectives (Rs 123 crore) and neurology medicines (Rs 84 crore).”
The total size of the Indian pharmaceutical market is over Rs 1 lakh crore.