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Insulin to cost up to 10% more

Insulin shots will pinch diabetics harder, with the country's drug-pricing regulator - National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) - set to allow a price hike of 3-10%.

business Updated: Jul 20, 2012 00:51 IST
Himani Chandna Gurtoo
Himani Chandna Gurtoo
Hindustan Times

Insulin shots will pinch diabetics harder, with the country's drug-pricing regulator - National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) - set to allow a price hike of 3-10%.

Popular insulin vials and pens are likely to get costlier within the next two months, NPPA sources told HT.

Of the estimated 60 million diabetics in India, 3 million use insulin every day to control their blood-sugar levels.

As of now, a 10ml insulin pen costs around Rs. 200 and serves a patient's needs for 10-12 days.

Insulin is among the 74 drugs whose prices are controlled by the government.

Its Rs. 700-crore market size mirrors the rising incidence of diabetes in India. Prices were last revised in March by 5-18%.

Patients and doctors are concerned about the hike.

"My insulin product costs Rs. 475 a day. Any increase in prices would be inhuman," said Udesh Babel, a 63-year-old businessman who spends over Rs. 14,000 a month on insulin.

Anoop Misra, head of department (diabetes and metabolic diseases), Fortis Hospitals, said: "In the last five years, diabetes has moved beyond the higher income group to the middle and lower economic strata. A rise in insulin prices would be detrimental as it's a matter of life and death."

NPPA sources linked the price rise to the cost of raw material for domestic insulin products and higher insurance and freight charges for imported drugs.

First Published: Jul 20, 2012 00:49 IST