August 14: The Department of Drug Administration (DDA) has initiated the process of increasing the price of medicines. The DDA is preparing to send a work procedure to the Ministry of Health and Population to adjust the price of medicines as per the understanding reached between the department, the ministry and drug manufacturers on July 26.
The drug manufacturers of Nepal had organised a protest since early July putting forth various demands including a ban on import of 30 different kinds of drugs that are manufactured in sufficient quantity in Nepal, price adjustment and granting permission for sale of sanitizers only by registered companies.
Following the protest, the Council of Ministers on July 6 formed a three-member committee headed by joint secretary Dr Bikas Devkota of the ministry to study the demands of the drug manufacturers. DDA Director General Narayan Prasad Dhakal and president of the Association of Pharmaceutical Producers of Nepal Narayan Chhetri were members of the committee.
The committee had pledged to fulfill demands of the drug manufacturers within three weeks.
“During the meeting on July 26, the committee had pledged to forward the work procedure for increasing the price of medicines to the ministry, which in turn would implement it,” said Chhetri.
The drug manufacturers had been demanding a review of prices of medicines that were fixed more than 16 years ago.
Director General of DDA Dhakal said that the work procedure has recommended increasing the prices of 100 different kinds of medicines.