The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has now led to the shortage of drugs in the state. With the drug dealers and distributors unable to figure out the taxation structure and facing software-related billing problems, various pharmacies in the state have a shortage of drugs, reported The Times of India.
As per the report, the problem is that the distributors drastically reduced their inventories before July 1 and still have not fixed the taxation rates for drugs. As a result, they stopped billing for the last few days and the supplies of small pharmacies also went down.
However, pharmacy chains like Apollo Pharmacy had increased their stock in advance so they were able to start billing by July 1.
Moreover, the site where the drug dealers need to register under GST has been crashing regularly due to heavy traffic.
Pradeep Dadha, CEO, Netmeds.com told TOI that many of the smaller pharmacies are facing problems but they expect to normalise the situation in two to three days once the billing starts.
There is also confusion among the vendors whether existing old stock should be returned to the manufacturers or sold to the hospitals.
Meanwhile, due to the GST, the patients might have to pay more money in hospitals. The patient bills are likely to increase by 3 to 4 % under the GST and the reason behind this is that the cost of most of the drugs, re-agents and disposables that hospitals use, have increased by at least 5%, besides the housekeeping and security services costs which have also increased, reported The Hindu.
There might also be an increase of 2 to 3% in the drug prices.
The Druggists Association said that the cost of essential drugs will remain the same but 35% of drugs might see an increase in prices.