December 08, 2008

Pharma industry seeks hike in medicine prices

Pharma companies have sought a hike in medicine prices and warned of stoppages in manufacturing of medicines under price controls, a top industry player said.

"There is an urgent need to achieve a balance between product availability, price and quality. Unremunerative and unworkable prices have seen production stoppages. The devaluation of the Indian Rupee has also increased input costs," Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association (IDMA) President, B N Singh, said in a statement here.

Pharma companies have warned of stoppage in manufacturing of medicines under price controls, claiming that repeated pleas for price increases have fallen on deaf ears. They have appealed to the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers to allow them to increase drug prices, claiming that procurement prices of bulk drugs and packaging materials have gone up substantially.

Other factors which have contributed to this situation, IDMA said, are the high cost of freight and accommodation. "The industry has found it hard to absorb these increases," Singh said, adding that this has led to domestic users paying more for imported inputs.

According to IDMA, a substantial quantity of bulk drugs are being imported from China where prices have gone up substantially due to several factors.

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