National, Back Page

Medicines going to be dearer too

Published : 27 Aug 2022 10:10 PM

The prices of medicines are increasing along with those of other essentials. 

Prices of various types of medicines have increased by about 40 percent to 50 percent in a month.

Vendors say that the companies suddenly increased the prices last month while the general people say their sufferings are mounting.

Visiting different medicine markets, this reporter found that medicines for high blood pressure Osartil and other prices have been increased from Tk 80 to Tk 100. Even after a long time the price of oral saline is also increasing.

On July 20, the Ministry of Health increased the prices of 53 types of medicines following the application of drug companies. Based on the variety the prices of different medicines have increased from Tk 1 to a maximum Tk 86. Sellers are also charging higher prices for drugs that are not mentioned in the guidelines.

However, a different scenario has been witnessed in the country’s medicine market. The same generic medicine price that is produced by different companies is also different. Price difference of some medicines has been found five times higher with other companies.

A medicine called Banova is prescribed for orthopedic problems. Radiant Pharmaceuticals sells this medicine at Tk 2507. Health Care Pharmaceuticals marketed the medicine in the name of Bondrova at Tk 1960 taka. Besides, Labaid Pharma produced the same medicine named Bonaid and sold at Tk 1500, Reneta sold the medicine at Tk 995, and incepta at Tk 510.  

With hundreds of similar generics in the market, the price difference between companies is sky-high. However, patients have nothing to do as they largely depend on the doctor’s prescription. Due to this, patients have to pay a large sum of money for medicine purchase.    

Experts said that doctors should give the best medicine at a low price considering the capacity of the patient.

Medicine expert professor Dr. Redwanur Rahman told the media that price difference cannot ensure a medicine’s situation. If the patient needs long-term treatment, expensive drugs should not be prescribed as their affordability matters.

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology of Dhaka University Professor Dr. SM Abdur Rahman said, “Someone brought the raw materials of medicines from China or India or someone else brought them from Switzerland and their price may differ one and a half times. In that case, the price difference can be one and a half times. But here we see the difference in the price of medicine depending on the company is about eight to 10 times.”

The government can fix the prices of only 117 medicines. Apart from that, whatever medicine is produced, its price is fixed by the company. The Department of Drug Administration approved their price only.