More essential drugs are likely to come under price control with the government expected to decide on the matter in a meeting scheduled for next week. Out of a total of around 900 drugs in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2015, around 450 drugs are already under price control. “Some of the drugs which are not under the price control yet will be considered for price cap,” NPPA Chairman Bhupendra Singh told .
He, however, declined to share details of the drugs that are likely to come under price control. In a tweet, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said: “NPPA’s next meeting scheduled for September, 2016 (2nd week). Some more drugs are likely to come under price control.”
The government currently fixes the prices of essential drugs based on the simple average of all medicines in a particular therapeutic segment, having sales of more than 1 per cent. It also monitors the maximum retail prices (MRP) of all the drugs and companies are allowed to hike prices of non-scheduled drugs by up to 10 per cent in a year. The government had notified DPCO, 2013, which covers 680 formulations, with effect from 15 May 2014, replacing the 1995 order that regulated prices of only 74 bulk drugs.
Last month, Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers Ananth Kumar said the government is mulling providing more than 50 essential drugs, including those used in treatment of cancer and AIDS, at cheaper rates to a large section of the population.Set up in 1997, NPPA has been entrusted with the task of fixation/revision of prices of pharma products, enforcement of provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order and monitoring prices of controlled and decontrolled drugs.