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No increase in prices of essential medicines: Centre

PTI 28 Nov 2014, 14:53:45 PM IST

New Delhi: Refuting Opposition's contention, the government today said there had been no increase in the prices of essential drugs in the last six months.

Prices of 44 drugs and 108 formulations have actually come down during the period, Chemicals and Fertiliser Minister Ananth Kumar said in Rajya Sabha.

He refuted suggestions that price of some drugs used to treat tuberculosis, AIDS, diabetes and heart ailments were on the rise following decontrolling of these drugs.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), he said, through a notification in July had capped the maximum retail price of 108 non-scheduled single ingredient drug formulations related to treatment for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

"Out of 108 medicines, only two notifications were withdrawn because they were already covered as scheduled medicines. A large number of manufacturers have already implemented the price reduction," he said.

To a question on the price of anti-cancer tablet Gilvec, he said, as per the price list in Form V of the DPCO, 2013, the medicine is sold at Rs 8,452.38 for 30 tablets, which is in conformity with the ceiling price notified for this drug formulation.

Kumar said according to WHO Global TB Report, 2014, the estimated number of TB patients in India in the year 2013 was 2.6 million.

He informed the House that a total number of HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) registered in active care at Anti-Retroviral Therapy Centres across the country are 10.98 lakh.

"However, it is estimated that there are around 20.88 lakh people infected in India as per HIV estimation of 2011," he said.