From the first of next month, prices of essential medicines are likely to go up by nearly 2 per cent, according to a report in Times of India.
The report said that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has asked the pharma companies to submit the required documents so that they could avail the annual price hike based on Wholesale Price Index (WPI).
The NPPA revises prices of all essential medicines every year based on the changes in the WPI.
The union government directly regulates prices of medicines falling under National List of essential medicines (NLEM).
The government puts a cap on their prices at the simple average of all drugs in a particular segment with market share of at least 1 per cent.
The NLEM includes over 875 drugs including those used in treatment of diabetes, hypertension, hepatitis, kidney disorders etc.
The list also includes cancer drugs as well as anti-retrovirals in addition to antibiotics, analgesics, stents and condoms.
The pharma companies are permitted to increase the prices of those medicines that are not part of NLEM, by up to 10% in a year.
As on today, around 30 per cent of the Rs 1 lakh crore pharmaceutical market is under direct price.