JD(U) attacks NDA govt over drug pricing issue

Hitting out at the NDA government, JD(U) on Friday said the decision to de-control prices of life-saving drugs was "inhuman" and showed that the centre was not concerned about the common man.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 11, 2014, 00:30 AM IST

New Delhi: Hitting out at the NDA government, JD(U) on Friday said the decision to de-control prices of life-saving drugs was "inhuman" and showed that the centre was not concerned about the common man.

Speaking to newspersons here, JD(U) President Sharad Yadav alleged that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) had withdrawn the order, which kept these essential drugs under control, just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US.

"I am worried that the life-saving drugs have become expensive and are beyond the reach of the common man in the country... NPPA had withdrawn the order whereby the essential life-saving drugs were kept under control just before Prime Minister's US visit.

"After lifting the control on the prices of these medicines, the rates are increasing by leaps and bounds as a result of which these medicines will become beyond the reach of the common man," he said.

Yadav alleged that the government was waiting for the assembly elections in some states to get over after which it was going to "announce certain decisions which will further hit the poor people".

"It is inhuman on the part of the government to de-control prices of 108 life-saving drugs which are used by patients of heart, cancer, T.B, diabetes, HIV, and for respiratory diseases," he said.

"In a nutshell, the present government is unconcerned and not worried about the livelihood of common and poor people of this country," Yadav added.

Yadav said the drug for cancer, namely Geftinat, which

was earlier available in the market between Rs 5,900 and Rs 8,500 is ranging around Rs 11,500 presently while the price of medicine for heart ailment, which was available between Rs 92 to Rs 147, is ranging between Rs 147 and Rs 1615 presently.

He said he has been "informed" that the prices for drugs for cancer and diabetes are going to be increased 10 times more which will be disastrous for the country like India.

In India, the patients suffering from diabetes were around 4.1 crore, from heart ailments 4.7 crore, from Tuberculosis 22 lakh and from cancer around 11 lakh, he said.

Yadav said after the withdrawal of the above mentioned order of the NPPA, there is no control on the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing these life-saving drugs.

"I do not understand as to why the present government is bent upon to provide benefits to the American companies.

"Only one year had passed that the previous government brought control on life-saving drugs through NPPA which the present government has removed for the reasons best known to them," he said.