India: Essential drug prices to increase by 2.3 percent post GST - (Business Line via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Prices of essential drugs in India are set to jump to 2.3 percent following implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Business Line reported.

  • India's government will fix the tax rate for most essential drugs at 12 percent in the GST regime, up from 9 percent at present.

  • The country's National List of Essential Medicines includes common therapies such as diazepam, diltiazem, heparin, imatinib, ibuprofen, propranolol and warfarin.

  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) previously confirmed that the revised ceiling price of scheduled drugs eligible for an excise duty will be calculated by applying a factor of 0.95905 to the existing ceiling price, while for therapies exempt from excise duty, the existing ceiling price will remain unchanged under the GST.

  • Concerning non-scheduled formulations, NPPA explained that drugmakers will have to absorb the net increase if prices exceed the permissible limit of 10 percent of the manufacturer's recommended price.

  • "I am confident that GST implementation will be by and large smooth and will not cause any major disruption in the availability of drugs in the country," said NPPA chairman Bhupendra Singh.

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