Health ministry additional secretary Rakesh Kumar Vats has been appointed as the new chairman of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
This will be an additional charge for Vats, an Indian Administrative Services official from the 1986 West Bengal cadre.
“The competent authority has approved the assignment of the additional charge of the post of Chairman, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers to Shri Rakesh Kumar Vats…with immediate effect and until further orders,” said a notification from the appointments committee of the cabinet on Friday.
The appointment comes a month after Bhupendra Singh, the previous NPPA chairman, was transferred to the National Authority of Chemical Weapons Commission long before he finished his tenure at the Indian drug pricing regulator.
The move had sparked allegations from patient activists that industry lobby groups pushed for Singh’s transfer after he had implemented several steps unfavourable to them. This includes using emergency powers under Para 19 of the Drug (Prices Control) Order, 2013, to cap maximum retail prices of knee implants and several medicines that were not under price control.
Industry lobbies have denied this allegation.