Assam and India as a whole is witnessing a steep increase in the prices of medicines which is evidently hurting regular buyers of already expensive medicines for common ailments such as cancer, blood pressure, and diabetes.
The soaring prices have hit the livelihoods of people at a time when the country is reeling from a disastrous pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives.
Last year, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) of India had announced that starting April 1, 2022, the prices of over 850 medicines on the National List of Essential Medicines, will be raised by 10.7% as part of an annual exercise.
This is not the first time NPPA announced such increases. In 2021, the NPPA had announced an increase in Wholesale Price Index (WPI) of 0.53%.
In 2020, it was 1.88%, while in 2019 and 2018 it was 4.26% and 3.43%, respectively. In 2017, the effective increase in WPI was set at 1.97% but in 2016, it was set at (-) 2.71%.
The increase in WPI in 2022 is the highest since the Drug Price Control Order, 2013, came into effect.
According to a survey in Guwahati, the prices of all medicines used to treat fever, infections, diabetes, heart disease, anaemia, high blood pressure, and skin diseases and have rose exponentially.
The prices of medicines for fever, kidney and vitamin have increased by 20%, 10% 15% respectively.
The cost of drugs used to treat diabetes have increased by 20% with the insulin, a key component in the treatment of diabetes, alone witnessing a price hike of 10%.
Further, it was found that medicines for pressure have also increased by 10%. Cough Syrups have also witnessed a price hike of 15%.
With skyrocketing prices, it is important to learn the steps and precautions that would help in limiting your out-of-pocket health care costs, just like the saying goes – “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”, which basically means if one eats healthy foods, one will remain in good health and will not need to see the doctor often.
Important parameters to remember –
Blood pressure : 120 / 80
Pulse : 70 - 100
Temperature : 36.8 - 37
Respiration : 12-16
Males (13.50 - 18)
Females ( 11.50 - 16)
Cholesterol : 130 - 200
Potassium : 3.50 - 5
Sodium : 135 - 145
Triglycerides : 220
Amount of blood in the body : Pcv 30 - 40%
Children : 70 - 130
Adults : 70 - 115
Iron : 8-15 mg
WBC : 4000 - 11000
Platelets : 150,000 - 400,000
RBC : 4.50 - 6 million
Calcium : 8.6 - 10.3 mg/dL
Vitamin D3 : 20 - 50 ng/ml (nanograms/ml)
Vitamin B12 : 200 - 900 pg/ml
Tips to maintain the above parameters –
Always drink water even if you don't feel thirsty!! The biggest health problem is from the lack of water in the body! 2 litres Minimum per day (24 hours).
Play sports even when you are very busy! The body must be moved, even if only by walking or swimming or any kind of sport! Walking is good for a start!
Reduce food! Leave excessive food cravings because it never does good! Don't deprive yourself but reduce the quantity! Use more of Protein & Carbohydrates based foods.
As much as possible, do not use the car unless absolutely necessary! Try to reach on foot for what you want (grocery, visiting someone or any goal)! Climb stairs instead of using an elevator/ escalator.
Let go of Anger!! Let go of worry!! Try to overlook things. Do not involve yourself in situations of disturbances! They all diminish health and take away the splendor of the soul. Talk to people who are positive and listen.
As it is said....'leave your money in the Sun and sit in the shade'!! Don't limit yourself and those around you. Money was made to live by it, not to live for it.
Don't make yourself feel sorry for anyone nor on something you could not achieve, nor anything that you could not own! Ignore it, forget it!
Humility! Money, Prestige, Power and Influence are all things that are corrupted by arrogance! Humility is what brings people closer to you with love.!
If your hair turns grey, this does not mean the end of life! It is a proof that a better life has begun! Be optimistic, travel, enjoy yourself! Make memories!
Keep away from alcohol and smoking as both lead to serious health problems such as mental and behavioural disorders, cancers, heart and lung diseases, stroke etc. If you are an active smoker or drinker, its never too late to quit. Once you do, you will experience immediate and long-term health benefits.
The simplest way to do away with medicines is staying healthy. Of course, that is sometimes easier said than done. But staying at a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, and not smoking lowers your risk for health problems. Staying healthy helps you avoid costly tests and treatments for ongoing conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.