Expensive drugs pinch pockets, some drugs out of stock in Calcutta | Calcutta News

KOLKATA: The demand for generic drugs is on the rise in the city following a 10-20% increase in the price of brand-name drugs in the past two months. With the release of expensive new variants from pharmaceutical companies, there is also a shortage of some drugs, including those needed to treat respiratory disorders.
In the past four months, the price of drugs across the country has increased by almost 20%. Buyers are feeling the pinch, especially those who need medication for blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid, and gastrointestinal disorders. Health supplements like multivitamins have also seen a steep rise in prices.

A specific brand of Norfloxacin that was sold for Rs 80 a year ago is now available for Rs 97. The price of the antibacterial drug often prescribed by doctors to treat stomach or digestive disorders has been increased by 18%. The price of a tablet containing linagliptin, used as an oral anti-diabetic, has also been increased from Rs 490 to Rs 515 for 10 tablets. “The price increases are so great that the middle class and the lower middle class are struggling to afford. Buyers sometimes point the finger at us. But pharmacies have no control over the price of drugs, ”said Sajal Ganguly, secretary of the Bengal Association of Chemists and Drug Addicts.
Rajeev Khandelwal of Dhanwantary Pharmacy estimates that in the past four months, the price of some drugs has increased by as much as 22%. “Medicines that are used on a daily basis – like those for the treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes, prostate, cholesterol. Often there are products that do not fall under the price control of drugs. Some doctors still prefer to write brands rather than generics. So instead of a generic metformin sold for Rs 25 for 10 tablets, they are prescribing a brand name for Rs 360, ”he said.
Sensing the pinch, buyers have started looking for generic alternatives now. “Many customers contact us for cheaper generic variants. But they are asking for branded generics. It’s like another generic variant of the same company or a reputable company. They still don’t trust generics produced by lesser-known brands, ”said Somnath Ghosh of Metro Pharma.
Meanwhile, there is a shortage of some drugs on the market, especially those intended for the treatment of respiratory diseases. “Take Levosalbutamol for example. Results from a brand name levosalbutamol are currently not available on the market. They plan to bring a different variation. Likewise, the respules used for asthma in children are also rare, ”Ganguly said.

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