The CPI - M on Thursday expressed deep concern that 76 life saving drugs have been taken off the customs duties exemption list and urged the government to review the decision.
"This gazette notification by the government has made these drugs more expensive, " the Communist Party of India - Marxist said. "These drugs include anti - cancer, anti - AIDS and drugs for haemophilia patients.
"The government's reasoning is that this would protect the domestic drug companies.
"Now the prices of life saving drugs for patients dependent on imported drugs will rise by at least 22 percent. Worse is that where there are no domestic alternatives, patients have to rely on imported drugs alone. "
This, it said, "will lead to severe economic hardships". It demanded that the government should reconsider this decision.