Mumbai– Over 15,000 diabetes patients of Mumbai have signed a petition seeking a reduction in the cost of glucostrips across the country.

The petition, which was signed at the city’s Gadge Diabetes Centre, says the move would help the government realise that a reduction of the glucostrip price would make it affordable for all.

According to the organisers of the initiative, the petition will be submitted to the price control body — National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority — and the Union Health Ministry.

“The cost of health care is drastically increasing. The manufacturing cost of a glucostrip is 50 paise but the patient is charged Rs 25 to Rs 30. Those who need to keep a check on their blood glucose levels more than once a day will have to shell more than Rs 150 which may not be feasible for all,” said Pradeep Gadge, a Mumbai-based diabetologist.

According to him, the petition was signed by over 15,000 patients in just over a month.

“If one keeps in mind the prevalence of diabetes in the country, the need of the hour is price ceiling of glucostrips. This will help make it affordable for all,” said Gadge.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2008, an estimated 347 million people in the world suffered from diabetes and the prevalence is growing, particularly in low and middle income countries.

India had 69.2 million people living with diabetes (8.7 per cent), as per the 2015 data. Of these, it remained undiagnosed in more than 36 million people. (IANS)