After introduction of DPCO 2013, the position is becoming murkier and it is now clear that the breeding corruption in NPPA is the sole reason why big companies are not adhering to the DPCO, 2013.
With the big bang UPA Government, had introduced DPCO 2013, after scolding from the Supreme Court of India. The logic was given by the NPPA, that it will implementing the market base notification as the formula for price control. The NPPA, now appears to be more interested for protection of the pharmaceuticals companies than the public interest at large. There must be a balance between the commercial interest of the companies and the availability of medicine in poor country like ours at reasonable price. The NPPA, has made two categories of price control mechanism, first being the ceiling price and second is retail price. It is seen that companies are not at all bothered to follow the ceiling price and hence question of complying with retail price mechanism does not arise at all.
As per the information available with Medicare News, the NPPA, vide Notification No. SO 1730(E) dated 10.07.2014 fixed the ceiling price for Gliclazide-80mg at Rs. 5/- per tablet. It is found that “Dr. Reddys Laboratories” is selling the aforesaid formulation under brand name Reclide-80mg at Rs. 96.50/- for fifteen tablets i.e. @ Rs. 6.43 per tablet and hence there is overcharging of Rs. 21.45 for fifteen tablets.
In another classic case of overcharging M/s Sanofi India Ltd. is selling Glimepride- Tablet (2mg) at Rs. 9.92 per tablet against ceiling price of Rs. 6.54 fixed under notification No. 1731(E) dated 10.07.2014 for ten tablets there is overcharging of Rs. 33.80.
In another case of classic violation M/s Stancare (Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd). it is found that Pioglitazone-15mg is being sold at Rs. 64.20 for ten tablets against the ceiling price of Rs. 41.10 for ten tablets vide notification No. 1734(E) dated 13.07.2014 and Pioglitazone-30mg under brand name Pioglar-30mg at Rs. 98.23 for ten tablets against the notified price of 68.80 vide notification No. 1774(E) dated 27.07.2014.
Will NPPA will look into this issues. The Delhi based NGO, “SOCIETY STANDING FOR ALL YOUTH MASS AWARENESS” (SSAYMA) who are engaged in PIL and Criminal Prosecutions in various drugs and SEBI related cases has disclosed that the companies violating DPCO, 2013 can face Criminal Prosecution as it is offence under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. The offence is cognizable. Said association is represented by Dr. Satyapal Singh Choudhary. Said consumer association has filed many criminal complaints against numbers of pharma major for violation of Loan License provisions and against SEBI for vigilance norm violations.
Delhi based Advocate Mr. Aruni Poddar, representing SSAYMA says that under the provisions of DPCO, 2013 read the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, the companies violating DPCO, 2013 can face criminal prosecution directly before Criminal Courts. Any aggrieved person can file criminal complaint in the matter. He further added that there must be clear and direct evidence. The price fixed under DPCO, 2013 has legislative competence and backing of the statue. But aggrieved persons shall come forward to file complaint.
While the private bodies are showing concern it is not understood as to why the NPPA is mute spectator. It is hoped that the companies as well as the NPPA shall rise from slumber and one day they will come to the action. In MODI era it shall not be expected that JUNGAL RAJ will continue. The Medicare News tried to contact the companies and NPPA officials to know the truth and their version but nobody is ready to comment on the matter.