Prices of Life Saving drugs in India

We all know that people do business to make money but it is very unfortunate that some people try to make money out of other person’s misery as well. Some of the life saving drugs that are sold in India are sold at exorbitantly high prices with a complete disregard to their cost of import or cost of manufacture.

MRP (Maximum retail price) is anyways something which has been mocked at by companies retailing water as the same bottle of water is retailed at Rs 12 with MRP of 12 printed on it. But if you go to a restaurant or a coffee chain you will find MRP of 45 printed on it. People exploit all the loop holes in the government policies but should the same be true in case of Medicines. Particularly when people know that without medicines someone mightnt be able to live.

Inspite of Government of India taking steps to curb down malpractices in drug pricing they have been highly unsuccessful. I recently experienced it when someone in the family had to be administered Human Albumin, which is considered to be a life saving drug in certain medical conditions.

Fortunately before purchasing the drug we enquired a close relative who happens to be a doctor and obviously has contacts with chemists in Delhi. We finally purchased the drug which has MRP of INR 6030 written on it for  INR 2000. I am pretty sure that cost of the drug to the dealer would have been less than 2000 and he wouldnt have sold it on his cost price. Even if the person was kind enough to sell the 4 bottles to us at his cost price, I was zapped to see the margin in MRP. I infact went to couple of other medical shops post my purchase to check the actual price from them as well. Almost all the chemists were selling the drug for MRP printed on the bottle. One kind gentleman offered 10% discount but that too after showing that he was doing great favor to us.

Anyway, I am not trying to ridicule anyone here but there are certain government agencies whose work is to monitor the pricing of drugs and monitor as to what is the price in comparison to the cost of import – I feel such agencies have failed miserably in the job they are doing and government should do something about drugs that are being sold in the market at these atrocious margins.

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Niti Munjal

Dietician by Profession but an IT professional by heart who believes that marriage of IT and Healthcare is the way to go to improve lifestyle and health of people in the country.

One thought on “Prices of Life Saving drugs in India”

  1. Recently it was in news that govt has asked agency checking on drug / medicine pricing about the cost of import. Your example clearly highlights serious flaws.

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