Manmeet Singh Gill
Amritsar, March 29
With the prices of essential medicines set to increase by 12 per cent after the decision taken by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, residents, especially those from the poor strata who are on regular medicines, would be affected badly.
The new prices would be effective from April 1. The medicines which would become dearer include painkillers, antibiotics, diabetes, heart ailments and other infections. “Most elderly patients suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure and use regular medicines. Further, most of them frequently suffer from other age-related issues,” said Rajinder Khullar, a chemist.
Khullar said he has patients who buy medicines worth over Rs 3,000 per month. This new pricing would mean that their medicine budget would increase by Rs 360 per month.
Another resident Sushant Sharma said, “This increase of course would not mean much for those with resources and also those who can afford costly healthcare. But this is not good news for a large number of people who are barely managing to survive with their limited resources.” The residents demanded that there is a need for the government to cap the prices, at least of essential medicines.
The residents stated that an increase in the prices of antibiotics and anti-infection medicines are going to affect all sections of society considering that viral and bacterial infections have become very common. They demanded that the government must intervene in the interest of the residents as the prices of all essential items have skyrocketed during the last few years.
“There is also a need to check the inflated MRPs on most medicines. Sometimes patients tend to buy the brand suggested by the doctors even as cheaper variants are available. Most patients are not even aware of generic medicines. The government should check why there is so much difference in the MRP of different brands,” suggested Sukhbir Singh, a school teacher.
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