The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday increased prices of intravenous fluids, commonly known as salines, by Tk3-5 per pack, following an application of Libra infusions – the leading saline producer which has over 23 products in the market selling for Tk35-145 per packet.
The committee of the ministry concerning medicine pricing made the decision in a meeting on Sunday but it did not set a date for when the new prices will go into effect.
"Libra infusions applied for raising saline prices citing different reasons, including a higher dollar price and production costs. Their demand was higher but we approved only a Tk3-5 hike per packet," Health Secretary Dr Anwar Hossain Hawlader told The Business Standard (TBS), after the meeting.
Saline product prices have remained unchanged for the past 15 years, he added.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sharfuddin Ahmed, and representatives of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Medical Association, and the Bangladesh Pharmaceutical Society were present at the meeting, among others.
In June this year, the committee at its 58th meeting increased the prices of 20 primary healthcare medicines by up to 132%.