The prices of essential medicines is set to go up by 2% starting April 1 as the government has allowed pharmaceutical companies to hike rates. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has asked all pharmaceutical companies to submit related documents in the next 15 days for annual price hike based on the changes in the wholesale price index.

“As confirmed by the Economic Adviser [Ministry of Commerce and Industry], the annual change in the Wholesale Price Index works out as 1.97186% during the calendar year 2016 over the corresponding period in 2015,” NPPA said in a notification on Wednesday.

The government controls the prices of 875 drugs that are on the National List of Essential Medicines. The list of essential medicines includes drugs used in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disorders, and anti-retrovirals among others. For medicines outside of the NLEM, companies are allowed to hike prices up to 10% annually.