With a 50-200% rise in the cost of raw materials imported from China, pharmaceutical lobby groups have urged the government to invoke extraordinary powers to hike prices of drugs under price control, according to sources.
Over 70% of the country’s total bulk drug requirement comes from China. These bulk drugs or active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) are used in producing medicines, including essential items like antibiotics, vitamins and folic acid.
At a meeting on Wednesday, industry lobby groups like Federation of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs (FOPE), Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance and Indian Drugs Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) submitted recommendations to the department of pharmaceuticals (DoP), health ministry, department of biotechnology and the drug controller general of India (DCGI), seeking to invoke Para 19 of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order for raising prices of all scheduled drugs. Para 19 deals with increase or decrease of drug prices.
As of now, Para 19 has been used only to reduce the prices of stents and knee implants.