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Heavy drug price mark-up a cause for worry: Minister

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P.K. Sreemathy
P.K. Sreemathy

Special Correspondent

Says drug pricing is in the Centre's domain

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy has termed extremely disconcerting the heavy mark-up being effected by drug manufacturers and dealers in the prices of drugs, particularly those used for treating heart and kidney ailments and cancer.

“It is plunder that is going on out there and we must all come together to see how we can remedy the situation,” the Minister said in response to a calling attention motion moved by K.C. Joseph (Congress) in the Assembly on Thursday. The State could do very little in the matter as drug pricing was in the Centre's domain.

She said all that the State government could do was to convene a meeting of the drug manufacturers and request them to lower the prices of at least the drugs used for treating cancer and heart and kidney ailments and other serious conditions. This the government would do at the earliest, she said and appealed to the Opposition to cooperate with the government in drawing the attention of the Central government to the abnormally high prices of many drugs in the market.

To a calling attention motion moved by E.S. Bijimol (CPI), Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran said the Cabinet had discussed the difficulties experienced by pre-1977 settler farmers in Idukki district and taken decisions that would facilitate early resolution of several of their grievances relating to the land in their possession.

The government had, for instance, decided to collect the premium and tax from the cardamom cultivating landholders and steps were being taken to issue possession certificates and other documents to all eligible farmers, Mr. Rajendran said.

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