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Inventory of essential drugs is still not exhausted in the market. It is estimated that it would take almost 2 more months for it to all get exhausted. So till then those essential drugs will be available at old prices. When new stock comes in, it will be available at revised MRPs and in August 2017, hit the market. Tax is levied at 12 percent under GST on essential drugs, while 5 percent tax is levied on critical care products and insulin.

Till new drug batches arrive at retail shelves of stockists and pharmacies, pre-GST MRP prices will be charged for essential medicines. Experts in the industry told a TOI correspondent that new stocks with new prices are expected in August 2017. It is also expected that among the first to be rolled out with prices revised downwards are anti-retrovirals, critical care products for cancer and kidney ailments and insulin.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, drug price regulator calculates that NLEM drugs will see a price hike at a marginal 2.29 percent, when GST is implemented and tax liability of companies will increase. The pharma retail market comprises of 25-30 percent life saving drugs which are a part of NLEM.

As per NPPA, post GST, prices of almost 78 percent of actively traded and used drugs are expected to remain unaffected. Availability of essential drugs can be checked by patients on 9695736333 on WhatsApp, said NPPA.

As per the anti-profiteering GST Act clause, only the added burden of duties/tax incurred on scheduled formulations should be passed on to the consumers.

A distributor in Mumbai states that wherever stocks are over or low, replenishment has begun already and after a few weeks supplies are expected with revised pricing. Right now there is no shortage of drugs in the market and adequate quantities of medicines in all brands are available, states Ameesh Masurekar, the Director of AIOCD Awacs, a pharmaceutical research firm.