Mamata Concerned Over Costly Medicines


New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday expressed concern over the government’s move to withdraw customs duty exemption on imports of around 74 drugs and advised the Centre to rethink on this decision.

In a series of tweets, Mamata said that this was not the first time that the Centre had increased the prices of medicines.

“I am deeply concerned by the sudden increase in Customs duties on life-saving drugs. Price rise needs to be addressed urgently. Medicines for cancer, diabetes, Parkisons, heart/kidney disorders, women’s health can become too expensive for thousands who need them,” she said.

The Chief Minister also said that her government was working hard to reduce costs of medication by opening ‘fair price medicine shops’.

This move from the Centre would help in local production of bulk drugs, but it may also lead to rise in prices for these medicines.

According to Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance Secretary General D G Shah, the recommendation to prune the lists was aimed mainly at taking stock of the current status of the industry and to rationalise the exemptions.