Tribune News Service
Solan, April 13
The growing demand for anti-malaria drug hydoxychloroquine owing to its use as a Covid medicine has led to multifold increase in the price of its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in the domestic market.
Not only had its availability declined in the market but only big pharma companies were able to buy it at the available price. As against the price of Rs 7,000 per kg its price had shot up to Rs 50,000 per kg, said Chiranjiv Thakur, Laghu Udyog Bharti’s state chairman for the pharma wing.
Given the scarcity of its API hydroxychloroquine sulphate, Laghu Udyog Bharti has represented its case before the state government to take necessary steps to ease the situation.
Thakur said the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority should check the price rise and make available certain quota to the micro small and medium sector enterprises too. He added that the small manufacturers were willing to manufacture the drug but unavailability of its API in the market was serving as a major deterrent.
Deputy Drug Controller Manish Kapoor said 51 manufacturers had the approval to manufacture this drug in the state but only 14 had the required API of about 1,600 kg. A stock of 40 lakh tablets was available in the stock and manufacturers said they could manufacture 40,000 tablets to 2 lakh tablets on a daily basis if its API was available.
With select MNCs and some big pharmaceutical players dominating its manufacturing, the small manufacturers felt they were being denied an opportunity at a time when there was a global health emergency. They demanded the Union Government to step in and control its burgeoning price.
Apart from the US and Brazil, demand has also been made by Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh to secure this drug from India which is one of the major manufacturers of this drug globally.
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