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Cap MRP to stop overcharging of medicines: Delhi Govt.

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NEW DELHI: The Delhi government will soon put in place a regime under which overcharging on medicines and consumables from patients will not be possible.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain has said that the Delhi government is “soon going to pass an order” making it mandatory for all government hospitals and doctors therein to prescribe drugs only from National List of Essential Medicines to patients.

Jain added that the margin of profit earned on any medicine or equipment should be fixed while selling the to patients.

Inaugurating a workshop on “Accessibility, Affordability and Availability of Pharmaceutical Products” in New Delhi, Jain said “I would like to urge the Centre to fix the margin of profit earned on the maximum retail price of any medicine, any equipment or any consumable."

The minister said, “For instance, a medicine that costs Rs 10 should not have MRP of more than Rs 15.”

Addressing the gathering Jain said,  “It is observed that sometimes it is exorbitantly charged, from 900 to 2,000 per cent profit on the sale of medicines.”

Quoting the recent Fortis Hospital case, Jain asked how certain corporate hospitals were making profits ranging from 275% to 525% on the sale of disposable syringes by purchasing them at a discounted rate and billing them to the patient at MRP.

Jain said, "The government has formed a nine-member committee to look into the issue of overcharging by private hospitals. The panel will submit its findings and recommendation very soon."

Jain told DTMT that the decision was taken after several complaints of astronomical profits being made by private hospitals on medicines and consumable items.

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