Archipelago

Drug prices to increase
by 10 percent

The Indonesian Pharmaceutical Association (GP Farmasi) has said the government-proposed subsidized fuel price hikes might increase prices of pharmaceutical goods, including medicines.

“The prices of drugs are expected to increase by around 10 percent,” said chairman of the East Java branch of GP Farmasi, Paulus Totok Lucida, on Tuesday.

It was unlikely that the fuel hikes would influence the prices of generic drugs, however, he said.

GP Farmasi noted that the rise in drug prices had started since the implementation of the 2013 regional minimum wage (UMR) in several regencies and municipalities earlier this year.

“But the increase in the drug prices has been controlled well through price fixing,” said Paulus, adding that the regulated prices were listed in the online catalog from the Health Ministry.

It was the government via the ministry that had the authority to regulate the prices of medicines, he said.

“Yet, it is still possible that the increase in the subsidized fuel and basic commodity prices will raise prices of medicines, in particular branded drugs,” said Paulus.

Under the newly-approved 2013 revised state budget, the subsidized-fuel price will increase by 33 percent to Rp 6,500 (66 US cents) per liter.

Paulus said he was sure that in 2013, there would be no drastic increase in drug prices in East Java because most of drug stocks circulating in the province sold at prices listed in the e-catalog.

“The prices are regulated by the government through a tender issued to drug suppliers, and regions buy the medicines at prices listed in the catalog,” he said. (ebf)

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