While the drug price regulator’s recent notification will help people by making medicines cheaper, doctors are worried it could increase the number of drug abuse cases.
“If the cost of antibiotics and painkillers reduces, there are high chances that people will not hesitate before popping pills for minor problems, thus increasing drug abuse cases,” said Dr Shahid Barmare, consultant physician, Kohinoor Hospital, Kurla.
Drug prices are expected to decrease because of the notification issued by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on Monday.
According to the notification, medicines such as painkillers, anti-infectives, antibiotics, antidiabetic, anti-cancer and cardiovascular drugs will be nearly 40% cheaper by July-end.
Doctors said the price reduction policy should be closely monitored to keep a check on drug abuse cases.
“On the other hand, reduction in anti-cardiac and anti-diabetes medicines will certainly help patients reduce the overall cost of their treatment,” said said Dr Vibhakar Adhvaryu, family physician from Napean Sea Road.
Dr Jaydeep Trivedi, a physician from Bhayander said, “The policy will only prove beneficial to patients. I do not think it will boost drug abuse cases in any way as people who are addicted to medicines will continue to take them irrespective of what it will cost them.”