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NC denounces hike in prices of essential drugs by 10% from April

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‘Decision will curb universal access of poor to quality medicine’

Srinagar/Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Sunday took strong exception to 10 percent price increase for scheduled drugs under price control, saying the measure will curb the universal access of poor to quality medicine.

Denouncing the measure, the party’s Deputy Chief Spokesperson Dr Gagan Baghat and State spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said that at a time when the country is already reeling from the soaring inflation, consumers will now also have to factor into their household budgets higher medicine expenditures.

“At a time when household incomes across the country, and J&K have suffered a whooping fall due to the misplaced priorities and mismanagement of the economy by the ruling BJP government, the recent hike in petroleum products, essential commodities and now the price rise in the essential medicines is giving the people, especially the poor fright of their life,” the duo said.

“Prices of over 850 formulations across major therapies are expected to go up by at least 10%, a first-ever instance when the increase is more than that allowed for non-scheduled drugs (which are outside price control). Non-scheduled drugs are allowed an annual increase of 10%.This will increase the out of pocket expenditures of  the poor and push them at the mercy of market pulls and pressures,” they added.

The duo said the undue measure debunks the claims of the incumbent government to improve the people’s access to medicines throughout its nearly 70-year history. 

“Such a preposition however is impossible without universal access to pharmaceutical products. Health coverage depends on the availability of quality-assured affordable medicines in sufficient quantities in  public health care sectors. We have been hearing that the GOI is making efforts to improve people’s access to medicines throughout its nearly 70-year history. In reality, the poor are being deprived of their access to affordable medication. It is highly deplorable,” they noted.

The duo impressed upon the GOI to refrain from putting poor to such trepidation and demanded an immediate hold on the decision.

They also demanded the Government to safeguard the interests of the poor by ensuring availability of drugs like cardio-vascular, diabetes, antibiotics, anti-infectives and vitamins.

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