Survey hails NPPA for ensuring drug availability

Survey hails NPPA for ensuring drug availability

New Delhi: The initiatives taken by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) in ensuring the availability of the essential drugs in the country was appreciated by the Finance Ministry by applauding the role of apex drug pricing regulator in its Economic Survey, which was tabled in the Lok Saha on Friday. Drug prices in India are regulated to ensure continued availability and affordability of essential medicines with improved access to consumers, it added.

"The NPPA has played an active role in addressing the exigencies arising out of Covid-19 pandemic and undertook necessary measures to ensure continued availability of life saving essential medicines throughout the country," the survey said.

The regulator invoked extraordinary powers in public interest to ensure that policy enhances access to life saving drugs like Heparin as well as medical oxygen, it added.

Timely intervention by NPPA eased the situation of medical oxygen availability throughout the country, especially in distant and far-flung areas. The survey said that NPPA also ensured availability of N95 masks at affordable prices and directed manufacturers/importers/suppliers to maintain parity in prices for non-government procurements.

On one hand, "NPPA fine-tuned its interventions during the Covid-19 pandemic to strike at profiteering tendencies by manufacturers/marketers in public interest. At the same time it also ensured enabling ecosystem for the industry to augment production of quality benchmarked medical devices for domestic use and exports," it added.

During the pandemic period, the government constituted an Inter-Ministerial Empowered Committee to make a recommendation for the export of drugs/ items requested by foreign governments, especially drugs like hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and paracetamol.

Notably, the NPPA had come to limelight when Injeti Srinivas, a 1983-batch IAS officer, was the chairman of the apex drug price regulator during the first tenure of Modi government. Srinivas had brought several reforms in the NPPA to bring down prices of essential drugs.

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