Many essential drugs priced much higher than manufacturing cost: WHO

  1. According to World Health Organisation (WHO),around 40% of the essential medicines in India are priced significantly higher than estimated production costs.This shows the amount of profiteering done by pharmaceutical companies and the scope for lowering the prices of drugs.
  2. The drugs used for cancer,hepatitis C and off patent drugs which are in the market for long and commonly used for diseases like HIV,tuberculosis and malaria are priced very high with huge margins over their cost of production.
  3. This results in high expenditure which pushes people into poverty.In India over 75% of health expenditure is out-of-pocket,of which the major chunk is spent on medicines.This is despite India being a manufacturing hub and the biggest supplier of low cost generic medicines to the world.
  4. Further,most of the high-priced medicines in India were found only in the private market which suggests a lack of availability in public facilities.