KPPU Finds COVID-19 Alternative Drugs Sold Over Ceiling Price

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • The Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) office. TEMPO/Tony Hartawan

    The Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) office. TEMPO/Tony Hartawan

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) in a virtual press conference on Friday found a number of regions still sold alternative COVID-19 therapeutic drugs above the highest retail price (HET) set by the government. 

    Their survey was done across major cities in Java, Sumatra, and Kalimantan, for 24 days since July 6. 

    “The study focused on regions with a high percentage of medicine availability, but prices remained high above the HEV and supplies were little,” said KPPU director of economy Zulfirmansyah on July 30.

    In Jakarta, for example, Ivermectin was sold at a number of drug stores and marketplaces at twice the highest retail price of Rp16,750 per tablet. The Health Ministry has pegged the HET for the antiparasitic drug, Rp7,500. 

    In West Java, the KPPU found Ivermectin was sold at marketplaces from Rp18,750 up to Rp19,750. The same went for other alternative drugs such as remdesivir and oseltamivir. The latter, in the form of a 75mg capsule, was sold at Rp67,500, which was over twice the upper ceiling price of Rp26 thousand. The same province saw remdesivir being sold from Rp1.4 and Rp2.3 million per vial. 

    The commission also found that 500 milligrams of azithromycin are being sold 22 times the highest ceiling price of Rp1,700 per tablet. This drug is currently sold between Rp18 thousand up to Rp38 thousand per tablet. 

    Read: BPOM Wants People to Stop Promoting Ivermectin as COVID-19 Drug

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA