Govt to give NPPA more teeth to control drug prices
“Drugs Prices Control Order will be amended in the next 15 days to enable the regulator NPPA to fix prices of about 350 medicines whose market data is not available,” said Union Pharmaceutical Minister Ananth Kumar, while addressing the foundation day of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on Monday.
While stressing that prices of life saving drugs should be fixed, the minister said, “The prices of nearly 900 medicines have been fixed under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, (DPCO) 2013 -- resulting in a saving of about Rs 5,000 crore to consumers.” “For about 350 medicines which are under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) we are not getting any market data. To bring them under the price control, we need to change the DPCO.
“In next 15 days, we are going to make the amendment to empower the NPPA,” Kumar said, adding that the pricing of another 368 new formulations has also been fixed. “The government would not be a “mute spectator” and will regulate the prices of these 350 items as well. The NPPA would fix the prices of all the remaining medicines in NLEM in a couple of months,” he said.
Calling pharma as the ‘sunrise industry’ which is growing at a rapid pace, Kumar said that the size of the Indian pharma industry is likely to cross $50 billion in the next three years from $35 billion in 2015. He also said that 100 per cent FDI has been allowed in pharma sectors, including brownfield projects.
On the occasion, the minister also launched a mobile app, which has been developed by NPPA. The app shows the maximum retail price by NPPA for various scheduled drugs on real time basis. “The application will be called Pharma Sahi Daam, which means drugs at fair price,” the minister said, while unveiling the logo of NPPA which will be displayed on the packing of all scheduled medicines.