GST impact on Drugs: Medicines prices will go north | Kochi News
KOCHI: GST implementation will increase the price of all ayurvedic and homeopathic medicines by 12% and this has upset both medicine manufacturers and retailers alike. Ayurveda Medicine Manufacturers Organisation of India (AMMOI) has asked the Ayush ministry to reduce the tax to zero for generic medicines and 5% for patent and proprietary (P&P) products. At present, the rate is 2% for generic and 6% for P&P products.
“The government has fixed the rate for generics and P&P products at 12%.The same is 18% for Ayurvedic cosmetics, soaps,” said general secretary of AMMOI Dr D Ramanathan.
Ayurvedic drugs need to be taken for a long time for chronic diseases. For example dhanvantaram tailam costs over Rs 350 for 450ml bottle that lasts 10 -15 days.Imagine the cost impact on senior citizens who use it regularly for various geriatric problems. The high tax will increase the cost, making it unaffordable for the poor and needy .
He said that the raw material cost had escalated by 100-200% with erratic supply. AMMOI said that generic medicines like dhan vantaram tailam, maharasnadi kashayam, agasthya rasayanam, ashta choornam, triphala choornam etc should not be taxed.
All Kerala Chemists and Druggists Association (AKCDA) said that almost 90% of the medicines in a medical shop will see 12% hike. “Except for condoms, contraceptives (which have 0% tax), there will be a 5% tax on injections like insulin, blood plasma and that for kidney dialysis. This constitutes only a small percent of medicines in a pharmacy,” said AKCDA state president A N Mohan.
Dealers are worried about how they should tax the items, already in stock, for which they paid 5% tax.Homeopathic Medicine Dealers Association too has written to the finance minister seeking relief from the high taxation.
Earlier, there was a tax slab of 5% for homoeopathic mother tinctures and dilutions, which form the bulk of prescriptions. “It is a matter of concern as there is an increase of 7% which will directly affect patients. Both urban and a large section of rural population depend on our system of medicine for their primary healthcare needs,” said Dr ME Prasanth Kumar, state president, Indian Homeopathic Medical Association.