Drug majors launch 'new drugs' to dodge NPPA's price ceiling
The drug manufacturing majors have innovated a trick to dodge the price ceiling order of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), which was mandated by the apex drug price regulator to make branded drugs at affordable prices.
In a shocking revelation, it has come to the notice of the NPPA that about 60 drug manufacturers have violated various provisions of Drug (Prices Control) Order, 2013 and introduced 'new drugs' by altering scheduled formations to get 'auto exempted' from price capping order of the government.
The NPPA has scrutinised 60 pharma majors where 201 'new drugs' has been put under the scanner. According to sources, the major pharma companies such Abbott Healthcare, Alkem Laboratories, Cadila Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Lupin, Novartis India, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Sanofi India, Zydus Cadila, etc have introduced new drugs by slightly changing the composition to dodge the price.
Explaining the drug majors' misdeed, an NPPA official said, "Suppose a 30 mg drug of a particular brand is under price control order, the 'new drug' of 30.5 mg has been introduced by the same manufacturer to get away from price ceiling norm of the DPCO, 2013."
According to the official, the non-compliance of the order came into notice of the regulator during compliance monitoring of various norms of the DPCO by drug manufacturers.
"It's also not clear whether these formulations have the approval of CDSCO and whether these are rational or irrational combination drugs as most of the drugs are fixed dose combinations," the official added.