By: Zakaria )*
The increase in drug prices during the Pandemic is strongly suspected to have come from the drug mafia game. The public also supports the security forces’ firm steps to take firm action against the drug mafia who have the heart to take advantage of the current difficult situation.
This year-long pandemic has made us aware of health, and finally we are hunting for vitamin C and multivitamin capsules. As a result, the price of vitamins goes up because they follow economic principles. In addition, the price of disposable masks has also increased, although now it has decreased.
The increase in the price of vitamins is also accompanied by the price of corona drugs. However, this spike is not due to many requests from the public, but because of the game from the drug mafia. Some of them hoard medicine to make it scarce and then deliberately sell it at a high price. Even though corona patients have to pay hospital fees of up to millions of rupiah, they still suffer because of unreasonable drug prices.
Deputy Chairman of Commission III DPR RI Ahmad Sahroni highlighted the drastic increase in drug prices. For example, ivermectin, which is usually only 5,000-7,000 rupiah, has increased to 200,000 rupiah. The insane increase is certainly detrimental to the community because they have to spend deeply.
Ahmad Sahroni continued, that not only the price of medicine, but also medical equipment has increased. For example, the price of an oximeter from just under 100,000 jumped to 300,000 rupiah. This increase also occurs in multivitamins, to sterile milk. Milk which is usually only 9,000-10,000 per can, the price can be 50,000 or 5 times.
To overcome this, Ahmad Sahroni proposed that there be monitoring of drug prices, especially in the marketplace. The reason is because many people who buy it via online. So that if there are parties who strictly supervise, they will be able to control the prices of corona drugs, multivitamins, and medical devices.
The marketplace manager himself has responded to the request from the board member. The trick is to delete the seller’s post that puts the price of the drug outside the reasonable limit. So that people will not buy it, because it does not appear on the marketplace page.
The government has also made strict rules to overcome the increase in the price of corona drugs. The highest retail price (HET) is set for drugs that can overcome the ferocity of the COVID-19 virus. If there are pharmacies who are determined to charge high prices, the authorities will take action.
The drug mafia is also still being investigated, lest they deliberately hoard so that the drug is scarce in the market and displayed at a very expensive price. They must be dealt with firmly for taking advantage of opportunities in adversity. When patients are short of breath and need medicine, they even sell it at a high price, so they laugh at the suffering of others.
If there is a drug mafia who is proven to be hoarding or selling at high prices, he could be sentenced to 5 years in prison or a fine of 2 billion rupiah. This is in accordance with Law No. 8 of 1999 concerning consumer protection. So drug sellers, both in pharmacies and in the marketplace, must obey them and cannot set extreme prices, if they don’t want to be sprayed.
Such a severe punishment was deliberately imposed so that no more drug mafia would dare to violate the rules. The reason is because if they sell at super high prices, it is the same as dancing on the suffering of covid patients. Also inhumane.
The mafia of drugs, vitamins, and medical equipment must be severely punished, because they have the heart to take advantage of the opportunity in the face of adversity. Don’t let the pandemic become a business arena to enrich yourself but make patients wallow in suffering. The government’s firmness should be commended for saving people who need corona drugs at affordable prices.
)* The author is a contributor to the Press Circle and Cikini Students