Inflated MRPs, Purple Cross reveals all of it

Balwant Garg

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, October 16

Don’t take the MRP (maximum retail price) of a medicine as its actual price. Many times the MRP, the price mentioned on a medicine strip or bottle, is 10 times more than the drug’s actual cost.

The fact was highlighted by the Red Cross Society in Faridkot, which today released a list of over 90 medicines that carried an MRP 5 to 10 times more than the sale price being offered by its outlets.

The society is running four medicine shops at three civil hospitals in the district and the local government medical college. “As there’s a huge difference in the actual price and the MRP, we decided to release a list of 93 medicines generally used for various ailments,” the Red Cross authorities here said. Most of these medicines have a highly inflated MRP on the package. For instance, the commonly used antibiotic Ozon-OZ has a printed MRP of Rs 120 but the drug is available for Rs 26 at the Red Cross shop.

Painkillers Piroxygen-DT and Sachahe ASP carry a printed MRP of Rs 71 and Rs 90, respectively, but are available at Rs 7 and Rs 18. Rabibak-DSR, a medicine for acidity, is sold for Rs 16 against the Rs 110 MRP.

“We are not selling these medicines at any discount or loss. The MRP of medicines and surgical equipment is at times 10 times more than the cost price,” said Subash Chander, secretary of the Red Cross Society, Faridkot.

The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers recommends that the MRP should not exceed more than 50 to 100 per cent of the manufacturing cost of the drugs. However, the MRP of the drugs of some reputed pharmaceutical companies is more than 500 to 1,000 per cent of its actual cost of production, said Dr Raj Bahadur, Vice-Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences.

“Only the government and society can jointly fight the corrupt practice. We need a Lokpal-like institution to tackle the menace,” said Sadhu Ram Deora, president, Lok Manch, a voluntary organisation in Kotkapura.

Gurpreet Singh Chandbaja, president of the Bhai Kanhaiya Cancer Roko Sewa Society, said. “We have raised the matter with the Centre and state government and requested pharma firms to stop this unethical practice.”

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