Nepalis spend Rs 50 billion plus on medicines

Nepalis spend over Rs 50 billion on medicines every year, the stakeholders say, adding the amount is increasing every year significantly.

The Department of Drug Administration and the Nepal Drug Dealers Association say, on the basis of their observation of the market, that the amount the nation spends on medicine is increasing by an average of 10 per cent every year over the past few years. Around 10 years ago, Nepalis were spending around Rs 6 billion only on the drugs.

Meanwhile, around 40 per cent of the medicines consumed in Nepal is supplied within Kathmandu Valley.

The director general at the department, Pan Bahadur Chhetri, says the hike in the price of medicines is not the only factor that has led to an increase in amount. The number of people suffering from various diseases is also increasing and new diseases have surfaced of late, according to him.

Mrigendra Mehar Shrestha, the president of the association, informs that the domestic drug industry is capable of covering only 45 per cent share of the market demand. He comments that the contribution of the Nepali industry has not increased on a par with the steady rise in the market need.

The government has approved medicines of around 7,500 foreign brands for use in Nepal.

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