GUWAHATI, Dec 1 - Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said the Centre�s decision to let pharmaceutical companies increase prices of essential drugs will hit the common man hard.
In a statement, he said the steep rise in prices of essential drugs is a clear indication that the Modi government is yielding to the pressure of the pharmaceutical industry and international lobbies, thus making many life-saving medicines inaccessible for the common man.�
The increase in prices of essential medicines used in the treatment of cancer, kidney and heart ailments etc., would affect not only the poor, but also the middle class, said Gogoi.
�India has the world�s largest number of diabetic and hypertension patients, and if drugs are not made available at affordable costs, most of them will not be able to continue with the treatment properly,� he said. �Instead of fixing drug prices based on the production cost, the Centre has based them on the market sales, which favour pharmaceutical companies.�
He said the Modi government had taken a retrogressive decision in September last year by scrapping the ceiling set by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Agency for 108 drugs used in treating diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Now, it has adopted a wrong price fixing policy.
�In 2012, the UPA government took a bold step by adding 365 drugs to the National List of Essential Medicines and manufacturers were not allowed to sell them above prices fixed by the government, giving respite to the common man. But now the Modi government has allowed the manufacturers to take the upper hand, hitting the common man hard. The million dollar question is: When will acche din as promised by the Modi-led government, finally dawn? Not acche din, good old days are what people are yearning for!� he quipped.