Mumbai, Mar 23: The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), a government regulatory agency that controls the prices of pharmaceutical medicines in India, has asked the companies to submit the documents required to avail the price hike on the basis of the Wholesale Price Index (WPI). It is been reported that the prices of all the essential medicines may rise nearly by 2 percent from April 1.Also Read - Coronavirus: Centre Asks State Govts, Regulators to Ensure Supply of Drugs at Affordable Prices

The office memorandum issued by the pricing authority on Monday states “As confirmed by the Economic Adviser (Ministry of Commerce & Industry), the annual change in the wholesale price index (WPI) works out as 1.97186% during the calendar year 2016 over the corresponding period in 2015.” As per the drugs price control order, the price of the essential medicines is revised by the regulator on the basis of the changes in the WPI of the pharmaceutical company. Also Read - Par panel seeks action against IT officers for irregular expenses assessment on freebies to doctors

Prices of the medicines that are part of the National List of essential medicines is directly regulated by the government by capping the ceiling prices of the medicines at the simple average on all drugs in a particular segment with the market share of minimum 1 per cent. Also Read - 'Rs 11,000 cr benefit to people from fixing drug prices'

The National list of essential medicine consists over 875 drugs which include antiretrovirals used for diabetes treatment, cancer drugs, hepatitis, hypertension, kidney disorder etc. Companies which are not a part of the National list of essential medicines are allowed to increase their price by 10 percent annually. Currently, over 30 percent of the pharmaceutical market is under the direct price control.

The price hike may affect the consumers who may have to purchase the essential medicines at a slightly high price.